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Batzer lands Hillside Elementary groundwork project

Medford's Batzer Construction Inc. has been awarded a $227,420 contract to do the groundwork for Eagle Point's future Hillside Elementary School.

Batzer was selected out of 11 bidders and was awarded the contract after the lowest bidder, Medford's Big J Construction Inc., withdrew its bid because of a mathematical error, said David McKay, director of the Project Solutions group at the Willamette Education Service District in Salem.

Groundwork construction is scheduled to begin in the next two weeks and includes removing unsuitable soil, hauling in crushed rock, constructing a rock pad for the building and creating a staging area for a contractor that will be chosen later to construct the school building.

Final design of the 54,000-square-foot building by Bend's BBT Architects is expected to wrap up in about a month. Construction could begin as early as late March.

The district has about $12 million to finish the project.

The money comes from an insurance settlement over a fire at the old Eagle Point Junior High School. The district hopes to save some of that amount to use for other repair projects throughout the district, said Scott Whitman, the district's business manager.

The school will be built next to and replace the 80-year-old Little Butte School, 12 N. Shasta Ave., which is over capacity and lacks modern conveniences such as centralized heat and air-conditioning.

The new school is slated to open its doors in January 2012.