The lockers will be replaced in both the girls and boys gym locker rooms at Washington Middle School.

The school board last Wednesday night approved the low bid of $23,695 from Centar Industries, Ellisville, over the objection from board member Scott Byrne.

Byrne expressed concerns about the big difference in price among the two bids received.

The other bidder was Bulte Company Inc., St. Louis, with a price of $31,456.

Assistant Superintendent Dr. Brendan Mahon said three contractors did a pre-bid walk-through, but only two bids were received. He said he did contact two school districts that have used Centar and they gave good reviews.

The project will be completed over winter break, he said.

“It’s unfortunate that there are only two bids, but I’m concerned there’s a 30 percent difference,” Byrne said. “That raises some red flags to me because the material costs should be the same, so then it comes down to labor.”

He said Bulte may be busy and bid higher as a result.

Kevin Hunewill, director of buildings and grounds, said the specs for the job were very clear.

In the end, board members elected to go with the low bid since the reference checks were good and the project is fairly simple. The vote was 6-1 with Bryrne voting no.