May 15, 2021

Kitchen parking lot replacements approved for Aurora Heights, Woodrow Wilson

Both projects are under budget, will be paid using SAVE dollars

Two elementary school parking lots in Newton will be reconstructed this summer.

On April 12, the Newton Community School District Board of Education voted unanimously in favor of the two kitchen parking lot projects taking place at Aurora Heights Elementary and Woodrow Wilson Elementary. Both projects were included in the district’s FY22 capital improvement plan, estimated $30,000 each.

At a cost of $28,750 for Aurora Heights and $29,500 for Woodrow Wilson, the parking lot replacements are coming in under budget. Newton Maintenance Supervisor Jack Suttek said the lots are primarily used by larger, heavier vehicles to load and unload; the schools’ dumpsters are also kept here.

For years, Suttek’s maintenance staff has treated the parking lot with temporary repair work until a replacement could be budgeted. Both lots are in “horrible shape,” he said, but the one at Aurora Heights is especially in disrepair. Suttek said a portable trailer used to sit in that lot and there are big, cement footings.

“They stick up at that parking lot and not only is the parking lot all cracked and broken apart, but those big footings need to come out because we can’t plow it,” Suttek said. “It’s time. They’re both in need. We decided to go ahead and do ‘em both because we got a pretty good price.”

Jerry Keenan Concrete won both bids over Karl Peters Construction, which had bid $51,738 for Aurora Heights and $36,994 for Woodrow Wilson.

The winning contractor said in its bid package it will remove 4,493 square feet of parking and sidewalk at Aurora Heights and 4,653 square feet of surface at Woodrow Wilson; both will be replaced with 6-inch-thick, 4,000 PSI, no-ash concrete and half-inch rebar tied on 2-foot centers.

“It’s a complete tear up and replacement,” Suttek said. “There’s existing blacktop in there, so they’re going to tear all that out and replace it with concrete.”

Jerry Keenan has not worked for the school district in the past, but Suttek said he’s excited to work with the contractor. Unsure when the last time the parking lots were replaced, Suttek did note the finished products at Aurora Heights and Woodrow Wilson are expected to last for 20-30 years.

Crews are expected to begin working on the parking lots after July 1, which is the start of the new fiscal year. Suttek said the projects will be completed before the 2021-2022 school year starts, or, more specifically, the second week of August.

Both projects will be worked on simultaneously and will be paid for using Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) funds.

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or