Franken selected to build dorms

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By Don Pace

Highlands University has selected a contractor to build a new dorm complex.

A local company, Franken Construction, submitted the low bid and was awarded the contract, officials said. The Board of Regents voted for the selection.

President Jim Fries said the university sought bids for construction of the 276-bed residence hall and received three bids.

“Franken Construction was the low bidder. We reviewed and affirmed that their bid met all of the bid specifications and the board has approved awarding them the contract,” Fries said.

Fries said construction should start soon and the contractor expects to finish the project by late June 2009.

“That should allow us ample time to do whatever is necessary to get the facility ready for students by the fall semester, which will kick off in mid-August 2009,” Fries said.

The overall project, including costs for things like furniture, is reported to be $17 million.

“The construction contract is just over $14 million and soft costs make up the balance of the budget. I’m delighted that this project is moving forward and think it’s going to have a huge impact on the quality of campus life for the students living here on campus. And I’m pleased the money is going to stay locally in terms of the contractor and most of the subcontractors,” Fries said.