Old South Point Elementary

The former South Point Elementary School stands near Southbend Drive in Washington Nov. 18. At Wednesday’s school board meeting, the Washington School Board voted to make Tubbs & Son Construction, of Lonedell, the contractor for the former school’s demolition.  

The Washington Board of Education selected a contractor to demolish the old South Point Elementary School and hinted at its next possible use during its meeting last week.

Tubbs & Son Construction, of Lonedell, the low bidder on the demolition, was selected to do the work. Its bid was $168,000. The work is expected to begin in February and conclude in May, but that could change, Assistant Superintendent John McColloch said.

“We’re anticipating a start date of Feb. 1,” he said.

The original building was built in 1952 with additions in 1968, 1987 and 2004, McColloch said. The old building has had issues over the years, including cracks in the gym walls; soil erosion; a cracked boiler, which caused flooding in the basement; a lack of central air; and shifts in the building foundation in early 2019, according to previous Missourian reporting. The building became vacant after the district built a new two-story, approximately 78,000-square-foot replacement, located at Highway 100 and St. Johns Road, which opened in August for the 2021-22 school year.

Meanwhile, Board President John Freitag said the board is considering its options for the 8.81-acre property, including using it for a sports complex for the high school. Details on those plans will be released in the coming months, he said.

Tubbs & Son Construction was one of four bidders on the demolition project. The other bidders were Fenton-based Marschel Wrecking, which bid $224,000; Eureka-based T. Hill Construction, which bid $449,077; and KJ Unnerstall Construction, of Washington, which bid $359,900.

Board member Scott Byrne, who works with the Mid-America Carpenters Regional Council, said he was “concerned” with the low bid, which he called unusual given the current market. “I’m just not always a fan of the lowest bid,” he said, “especially if I don’t know who they are.”

Byrne said he was concerned about the asbestos abatement, which he said is the difficult part of a demolition project. He said the district was “gambling” by accepting the bid.

McColloch said district staff did “quite a bit of background checking” on the company and spoke with a few of their previous clients, including officials with the cities of Pacific and Arnold, who gave “glowing” reviews.

Byrne, who did not vote, left the meeting before the board voted unanimously to accept Tubbs & Son Construction’s bid.