Koetter Gets Salem Safe Rooms Construction Bid Under Budget

Koetter Gets Salem Safe Rooms Construction Bid Under Budget


Coming in over $120,000 underbid, Koetter Construction was awarded the bid to build Salem Community Schools two safe room projects – almost $1 million under the high bidder. 

Construction will begin this summer at Salem Middle School and Salem High School – making this not only the first school corporation in Indiana with three safe rooms, but the first in the United States. 

A groundbreaking ceremony will take place sometime in June. 

Bids were also received from Hagerman for $9,728,000 and $9,990,800 from AML. 

Koetter’s base bid was $8,900,000 plus nearly $500,000 in alternate bids for 8 additional items. 

No bids were received for an alternate generator option. 

The School Board has met in the safe room at Bradie M. Shrum in the past. The building can withstand a tornado and a missile blast. Salem will have safe rooms at each of its schools – making it the only one of its kind in Indiana and around the US to have received FEMA grants for all three buildings.

The school corporation received a $7.4 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the project. 

The money amounts to a 75 percent match of federal dollars to build two safe rooms with a total size of just under 20,000 square feet.

The board would have to issue a bond to generate the remaining 25 percent – which totals $2,609,994.06 as a local match for an 11,072 square foot addition to the high school.

This project will house the band and choir groups, as well as provide for other activities. 

The 7,100 square foot addition to the middle school would require a local match of $2,403.587.88. 

This project will include a STEAM center, which will be unique among many schools in Indiana. 

The project could cost the average homeowner less than $20 a year for seven years and a farmer with 100 acres of agricultural land approximately $65.79 per year.