Selma High bids opened

Published 11:28 pm Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Project managers with Volkert and Associates laid out clearly the budgets for each aspect of the new school project. And yet all five of the combination bids for a proposed new Selma High School had one thing in common; they were well over the budget.

“At this point, the project managers and architects are going to go back and certify the bids to make sure they provide all the information needed,” Selma Public Schools Director of Operations Ray Matthiews said following Tuesday afternoon’s bid opening. “Until that is done we are not going to move forward.”

Although each of the five combination bids were over budget, Matthiews is confident the proposed project can be completed within the $21.5 million budget outlined by the system.

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“We do feel the work can be done for the budget we’ve outline,” Matthiews said. “Our goal for these students, for the taxpayers, is to give the best facility possible for the budget we’ve outlined.”

The system did break the project into different components for part of the bidding process. Those areas included demolition, electrical, mechanical and general work. The system also solicited combination bids that would cover the entire project.

Of the areas bid, the combination bids drew five construction companies, which pleased school officials.

“We are very excited about the participation we have had in this process and the number of companies who put in a bid,” Matthiews said.

Although not official, it appeared to observers that Alabama-based Hoar Construction came in with the lowest base bid of $24.8 million. Argo Construction’s announced bid did come in at $21.5 million, but prior to opening, the company added an additional $3.5 million to the bid, increasing the total amount bid to $25 million.

The base bid accounted for the main school, including auditorium, classrooms and offices. The base bid did not include separate buildings of the school including the band and choral building, vocational building and construction sciences as well as the auto shop. Those potential projects were bid separately.

The bids only covered new construction and did not include any renovation work on remaining buildings or items such as furniture and fixtures or professional fees associated with the project.

“Once the bids are analyzed the project managers and architects will then meet with the superintendent and board to go over their findings,” Matthiews said.