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Alpine School District already has a jump on those new schools that leaders promised would come when residents approved an average of $88 per residence yearly property-tax increase this spring.

Tuesday night, members of the Alpine School Board awarded construction contracts for new elementary schools in the Orem-Lindon and American Fork-Alpine-Highland areas to the Canada-based Granville Construction Co.Costs for those two schools were expected to range between $11 million to $12 million. Although Granville's contract is for $11,036,000, architect's fees and furnishings are expected to put the final costs for the two schools at $12,064,000.

Funding for the new construction will come out of $73 million in general obligation bonds that were approved by residents of the school district in May and were issued by the district in August.

The district already owns land for the two schools. The American Fork-area elementary will be just north of American Fork Junior High, near the American Fork-Highland border. The Orem-area elementary will be near Canyon View Junior High in Lindon.

Site work for the American Fork-area elementary could begin as early as the next seven to 10 days, Superintendent Steven Baugh said. If that happens, district officials hope to have the school ready for classes next fall.

"We feel really good about getting this done now," Baugh said. "If our projections are correct, and we can get into another elementary school by next year, then this is great."

Officials will allow the contractor to hold up construction on the Orem-Lindon school for favorable building costs and conditions, which may take as long as a year. In that case, the elementary would open for classes in fall 1996.

Those leaders hope the north Orem elementary will relieve crowding at Northridge and Lindon elementary schools. The American Fork-Highland elementary is expected to ease class loads in Highland and Shelley elementaries. Between them, those four schools hold more than 4,000 students.

Valentiner Architects PC of Salt Lake was selected to design the two elementaries. To save money and time, district officials asked the firm's architects to submit existing plans for schools that could be modified to cut costs.

The school board has not yet opened bids on two new high schools also to be located in the American Fork and Orem areas. The cost of those two schools is expected to be from $51 million to $56 million.

"The contractors who are bidding have let us know that it takes more time to prepare bids for high school construction," Baugh said.

Also, remaining funds from the $73 million bonds will be used for districtwide remodeling and renovations.

Proceeds from another $25 million bond, which will be issued in 1997, will be used to build two to four new elementary schools and make further renovations.

Board members are expected to award the contracts for the high schools in its Tuesday, Oct. 11, meeting. That meeting will start at 6 p.m. at the district offices, 575 N. 100 East, American Fork.