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[ No. 13.)





The undersigned, Commissioners for the erection of buildings for a Deaf and Dumb Asylum at Council Bluffs, submit to you the following report :

By an act of the legislature, chapter 107, laws of 1868, the commissioners were required to procure, without expense to the State, ten acres of ground adjoining the eighty.acre tract already donated by the citizens of Council Bluffs. The owner of this tract of ten acres resided in the state of Mississippi, and all attempts to purchase the same by correspondence having failed, one of the commissioners, Mr. Officer, went to Vicksburg in person, and, after much delay, succeeded in procuring for the State the deed for said land, which deed has been duly recorded.

As soon as possible after this land was purchased, we advertised for proposals for the erection of the buildings authorized to be built by said act. There were three bids for the work, as follows:

Jacob Reichard..
Bond & Co.....
W. R. Craig.......


These bids were received and opened on the 29th day of July, 1868, and on the 10th day of August, following, the commissioners having accepted of the proposition of W. R. Craig, a contract was

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entered into between the commissioners, on behalf of the State, and the said W. R. Craig, a copy of which is herewith submitted together with a copy of his bond, and other papers connected therewith.

On the 1st day of September, 1868, the commissioners appointed W. Ward, Esq., an architect of experience and ability, as superintendent, at a salary of $1,600 per annum, on condition that he should devote his whole time and attention to the work on said buildings. Mr. Ward has discharged the duties of his office faithfully and efficiently. We submit his communications and his official reports to the commissioners of the progress of the work under his charge.

We also submit, herewith, a statement of the amount of money received from the State, and the manner in which it has been expended; the vouchers for the money expended have been filed with the Auditor of State, together with the estimates, as required by the act of the legislature.

By reference to this report it will be observed that there has been expended the sum of $77,239.72. Of this sum $69,894.62 has been paid to Mr. Craig, the contractor, and the sum of $7,344.14 has been expended in grading, printing, fencing, planting trees and in payment of the salary of superintendent.

The commissioners regarded themselves instructed by the action of the legislature in directing the purchase of the additional ten acres to place the buildings upon an elevated portion of said grounds. To do this, required a heavy amount of grading. Although this work was done at a very low price, the greater portion of the earth being moved at thirteen cents per cubic yard; yet this work, it will be seen, cost in the aggregate near $4,000.

Fifty acres of the ground has been enclosed with a good, substantial fence, and about three hundred shade trees set out.

The amount appropriated by the legislature at its last session was $125,000. The commissioners have expended the sum of $7,344,14 for grading, etc., as above stated.

The sum agreed upon to be paid to the contractor is $121,500 ; the sums thus expended and agreed to be paid, amount in the aggregate to $128,844.14, which exceeds the appropriation in the Bum of $3,844.14.

To meet this deficiency, to provide for the payment of the super intendent's salary, to further grade and improve the grounds, and to erect such out houses as may be required before the building can be conveniently occupied, will in the opinion of the commissioners require a further appropriation of $12,000, which we ask you to recommend to the legislature to be made. By reference to the report of the superintendent, it will be seen tbat he estimates the actual cost of the work and materials on the buildings as now being erected to the contractor, to exceed the contract price in the sum of near $15,000.

You will recollect that the commissioners at the time this contract was entered into with Mr. Craig were fearful that he had undertaken to do the work at too low a price, but as the letters he produced and the bond he executed satisfied us that he was a responsible man, we considered it our duty to let him have the contract.

We considered at the time that if Mr. Craig could complete the buildings at the contract price, the State would have its buildings erected for at least $30,000 less than we anticipated.

By reference to the original plans and specifications, it can readily be seen that the portion directed to be constructed, to wit: the main building and one lateral wing, would necessarily cost more than one half of the buildings included in our contract with Mr. Jacob Reichard, as submitted to the last legislature, his bid and contract was $300,000 the lowest then received.

Knowing that the work was let at such a low price, our instructions to the superintendent were, to watch the work constantly; to require all of the material to be of the very best quality, and the work to be done in a good and workmanlike manner, and to make estimates only upon the actual value of the material on the ground and the work actually done, so that the State would get value received for every dollar expended. We think our instructions have been fully and implicitly followed by the superintendent.

Mr. Craig entered upon his work with a determination to have it completed by the time fixed in his contract. He is a man of great energy and industry. A good mechanic himself, he in person superintended every portion of the work, until he met with an accident

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