SHELDON—Northwest Iowa Community College’s Building D construction project has been a focal point lately for NCC’s board of trustees.

Board members from the Sheldon-based college on Monday, June 17, approved the second bid package of nearly $5.2 million for the two-phase project. The board approved the first bid package for the project on May 6.

During the on-campus project, the automotive and light duty diesel program portion will be fully renovated, with demolition and new construction occurring for the diesel technology program part.

Mark Brown, the college’s vice president of operations and finance, said the estimated total cost of the project is expected to be $8.1 million.

“The $8.1 million is 3.8 percent greater than our estimates, which doesn’t surprise us due to the increased cost of steel and other building materials, and high volume of area construction projects,” Brown said.

“While the cost was somewhat more than we had planned, they are well within scope,” he said. “We will continue to value-engineer the project and manage project contingencies with hopes of reducing all-in costs without taking anything away from student learning spaces.”

Estes Construction, which has offices in West Des Moines and Davenport, is the construction manager for the project.

NCC on Monday also received five bids for approximately $6.6 million in general obligation school bonds.

Of that amount, about $5.6 million of the bond sale will be used to help pay for the college’s Building D construction project.

The remaining $1 million will fund the initial cost of a new on-campus nursing facility, which is in the concept phase.

The board-approved bidder was UMB Bank of Kansas City, MO, at an interest rate of 2.15 percent.

“This low interest rate will help to keep the GO bond levy to a minimum for area taxpayers,” Brown said.

Board members on Jan. 21 officially authorized the issuance of approximately $6.6 million in general obligation school bonds and the levying of a tax for the payment of those bonds.

The nearly $14.2 million bond referendum successfully passed in April 2018 by voters in the college’s service area — Lyon, O’Brien, Osceola and Sioux counties and about half of Cherokee County — allowed NCC to authorize the issuance of the bonds.