School Board rejects Harrison Street site bids

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Sep. 8, 2017 10:55 am Updated: Sep. 8, 2017 11:09 am

QUINCY -- The Quincy School Board plans to seek a second set of bids on the Harrison Street project but still expects the K-5 school to open on schedule in August 2019.

"I hope all of that is completed before year end," board member Mike Troup said. "We will have what the new bids are, pick a low bidder and award a contractor sometime in December of this year."

Board members, meeting in special session Friday morning, rejected three bids received last month for the project.

The lowest of the three -- $14,673,000 from Jerry Maas Construction, the general contractor on the Lincoln-Douglas, 48th Street and Baldwin sites -- was about $2 million over budget for the building.

Other bids were $15,147,000 from Waterkotte Construction, the general contractor for the North 12th Street site, and $16,815,000 from Bleigh Construction.

Discussions over the past two weeks with the design team and Maas found ways to trim nearly $1 million out of the low bid, but with such a significant change.

"That says we probably need to present that to the other bidders," Troup said. "The two lower bidders were separated by about a half million dollars. It's hard for us to say would the second bidder be even lower if we made these changes."

"The rebidding gives everybody the opportunity to bid it again," said Darin Prost with Poepping, Stone, Bach & Associates.

But Prost expects no impact on the overall project timeline.

"We'll definitely take our time to make sure we get everything covered and still have spring construction which is similar to the other schools," he said. "Typically these buildings will be on an 18-month cycle."

The design team expects to meet next week with Troup and board member Richard McNay, who both serve on the Building Committee, on revisions to the building plans.

"The redesign is going to be more in the material selection and will not affect the quality or the size of the building," Prost said. "We're going to maintain the same look. It will just be a different material selection."

All five K-5 buildings have roughly the same square footage, design and functionality, but some materials in the initial specifications for the Harrison Street site turned out to be single source which inflated the project cost, Troup said.

"The contractors felt they had some good suggestions," he said. "They could deliver what the design team wanted for less money."

Material costs could see some impact from Hurricane Harvey and likely Hurricane Irma. Costs also increase each year, "but we don't expect a tremendous spike," Troup said.

Keeping a close eye on costs is key to bring the projects in under the $89 million referendum approved by voters in November 2014.

"Projecting forward on where we are on cost for the entire project, we were projecting if we go forward with the bid, we might be $800,000 or $900,000 over the $89 million," McNay said.

"I don't want this board to think after we do the redesign and come back for bids that you're going to see $2 million taken out of that building. Realistically when it's all said and done, if we end up being able to take out $1 million, we'll be happy."

Other action

The School Board approved a resolution authorizing an interfund loan of $750,000 from the education fund to the transportation fund. "This is a short-term loan until we see some of the state dollars come through," Business Manager Ryan Whicker said.

New science textbooks already in use at Quincy High School also were approved.

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