BAR HARBOR — A combination restroom and storage facility will be built this year near the football field and track at Mount Desert Island High School at a cost not to exceed $480,000.
Construction is expected to start this summer.
The high school trustees voted last Wednesday to award the construction contract to King Construction Services of Jonesport. King, one of four bidders, submitted the low bid of $385,017 for the building itself and $21,612 for the installation of 20 solar panels on the roof.
Architect Mike Sealander’s fee for design and construction administration services is $38,000. Contingencies and the possible hiring of a clerk-of-the-works for the project could add another $15,000 or so, school officials estimate. That would bring the total anticipated cost of the project to about $455,000.
Sealander had previously estimated that the total would be at least $500,000. King’s lower-than-expected construction bid meant the solar panels, which school officials had thought they wouldn’t be able to afford, could be included in the project.
“We have the money pretty comfortably within our budget to be able to go with the solar panels, which I think will immediately start to pay dividends,” Principal Matt Haney said. “They will be tied into the [power] grid.”
That means the school won’t directly use the power its solar panels generate, but will get credit for the electricity that is sent to the grid.
“The storage building will have very low power demand and, a lot of the time, zero demand,” Sealander said. “The solar panels will be making a lot more electricity than the building would ever use, so you will be shipping electricity to the grid almost all the time.”
He said the 20 solar panels can be expected to generate about 35 kilowatts of electricity per day.
People who attend outdoor athletic events at the high school currently have to use portable toilets that are set up near the football field. The school’s administrators and trustees had made construction of proper restroom facilities a high priority.
The high school also has a serious lack of storage space, especially for athletic equipment, so the trustees decided it would be less costly to address both needs with one building.
The restrooms, on the ground floor, will include four stalls for women, two stalls and two urinals for men, and a private, single-occupancy restroom. The rest of the ground floor plus a half-story of space beneath a slanted roof will provide about 1,450 square feet for storage in the 40-by-40-foot building.
Sealander said he had anticipated that all of the construction would be done this fall, but King Construction would like to get started sooner.
“They would like to do the earthwork and concrete during the summer, mostly because students aren’t on campus then, so the heavy machinery work would be done when the place is relatively empty,” Sealander said. “Then they would be putting the building up and doing the interior work in the fall.”