Sunnyside Elementary School

First- and second-graders wait in line to have lunch at Sunnyside Elementary School on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. Kids have 20 minutes to eat lunch but because of the amount of students some have to stagger their lunch times to have enough time to eat.

The bid packages for the addition being built for Sunnyside Elementary School have opened up through Jan. 9.

Bateman-Hall, the general contracting company that is handling the construction, will hold a pre-bid meeting with prospective contractors on Dec. 19 at Sunnyside and provide them with CD blueprints of the addition. Bids are open on 18 subcontracting packages related to the construction of the addition, which will add four classrooms and a new cafeteria to the school.

Idaho Falls School District 91 approved the initial plans to design the addition for Sunnyside in September in order to help address the overcrowding at the school. The school currently has more than 600 students in attendance, which is 138 percent of its original design capacity, forcing the school to convert office spaces into classrooms and stagger lunchtimes at the gym that doubles as the cafeteria.

Bateman-Hall project manager Doil Clements said the maximum price for the project will be set after the bids are submitted, though early estimates put the addition at $3 million, and said it could be paid for entirely with existing district funds. Superintendent George Boland said earlier this fall that the district hoped to complete the construction by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.

All bids for the project must be submitted in sealed envelopes to Bateman-Hall by 2 p.m. on Jan. 9. The bids will be publicly read to the district at 2:30 that day and the school board will likely decide on whether to go forward with the construction during its Jan. 22 meeting.

Brennen is the main education reporter for the Post Register. Contact him with news tips at 208-542-6711.