The work in the two schools will cost $16.5 million, well under the estimate of $17.3 million the district's architect anticipated.
"We were very pleased that we had the number of offers we did. It was a nice selection," said Solanco School District business manager Sandy Tucker.
Two of the contractors are new to Solanco. But both the general contractor, eciConstruction of Dillsburg, and the electrical contractor, Pagoda Electrical of Reading, have good records, the business manager said. The general contractor, eciConstruction's bid was $11,179,000 and Pagoda's was $2,620,586.
The other two contractors, Frey Lutz for heating and air conditioning and Jay R. Reynolds Inc. for plumbing, have done work for Solanco. Frey Lutz bid $2,328,000 and Reynolds bid $444,400.
The contracts will award bonuses to firms that complete their work early and assess penalties for work that is finished after the deadline.
All four contractors have strong recommendations, Tucker said.
The project will be managed by Abacus Construction Management, the same firm that is overseeing the renovation and expansion of Smith Middle School.
The bids were opened June 28 and awarded at the school board's open meeting on July 2.
Preparations for the project began two years ago when the district installed a new heating and air conditioning plant at Swift. Then, in the summer of 2017, the district rearranged the traffic pattern around the schools. That will allow the bus loading and unloading areas to be moved to the back of the buildings rather than in the front.
The work at the two schools, which are connected, will begin in August.
"What could hold it up is the work underway now to rebuild and pave the parking area," Tucker said.
The projects will be completed in late 2019 or early 2020.
The project will include new offices for both schools, a new gymnasium for Clermont, and an auditorium for Swift.
The first work will be renovating and moving the office area at Clermont, followed by similar work at Swift.
Then the contractor will begin building the gym and classroom additions at Clermont. The final phase of the project will see additional classrooms and a new auditorium built at Swift.
Because the contractor will be staging equipment in front of the schools, access to the buildings will be limited.
"We will have cattle chutes behind the building going to the entrances and visitors and parents will be escorted into the schools," Tucker said.