School board approves $11.5 million in bids
The Fairfield school board approved all bid packages at a total of $11.5 million Monday for the high school renovation and addition project to begin next month.
Six of the bid packages were accepted in March and held for approval while three bid packages were sent out for re-bidding when the total project bids came in at $12.3 million.
“We have the money to go that high, but we’d like to get costs down,” Superintendent Art Sathoff said at the April 2 board meeting to review and discuss options about the bids.
“If we can find another half-million dollars in savings through re-bidding the three packages, it would be good,” Sathoff had said April 2.
The district has borrowed $10 million in general obligation bonds for the high school project because $10 million was the amount for securing the best interest rate, said Sathoff.
The three packages sent out again for re-bidding were the general construction bid, masonry and tiling and flooring. All three of these packages had only one bidder return a quote in March.
“We reduced some items that were minor in scope,” said Jay Perry, vice president of construction at Carl A. Nelson & Co. in Burlington, construction manager for the Fairfield High School
“We were successful in this approach at reducing costs. We received tight bids, which means the contractors understand the jobs.
“Everything that was discussed with the staff is still the same,” said Perry.
Woodruff Construction submitted an original bid in March of $4.98 million. Three bidders submitted quotes this month for general construction, and Woodruff Construction, with offices in Ames, Fort Dodge, Waterloo/Cedar Falls and Iowa City, was the lowest of three at $4.26 million base bid. Tri-Con Construction in Dubuque bid $4.28 million and Bi-State Construction of Burlington bid $4.48 million.
“It’s a very tight range of bids,” said Perry.
The board approved the bid from Woodruff Construction on a 6-0 vote; board member Jerry Nelson voted no. The board approved an additional alternate of $30,500 to purchase science tables for the planned science addition, bringing the total package to $4.29 million. The other two bidders priced the addition of science tables higher than Woodruff Construction, at $34,000 and $35,020, so Woodruff remained the low bidder.
Seedorf Masonry of Strawberry Point submitted the only bid in March of $1.48 million. Seedorf Masonry was the low bidder this month at $1.39 million compared to one other bidder, Forrest Masonry in Des Moines at $1.43 million.
The board approved the bid from Seedorf Masonry.
Rheinschmidt Flooring of Burlington submitted the only bid of $299,500 in March. It was out-bid this month by Commercial Flooring in Dubuque, with a bid of $249,765 compared to Rheinschmidt’s $270,000 bid this time. The board approved contracting with Commercial Flooring.
The other bid packages received in March approved by the board Monday, included:
• Roofing — Brockway Roofing in Burlington had the low bid of $192,085. Christener Contracting Inc. of Ottumwa bid $227,978; and Advance Builders Corp. of Cedar Rapids bid $285,000.
The board approved Brockway’s bid with the recommendation from Perry to deduct $43,775 for a total bid of $148,310, to change the type of roofing used, from modified bituminous roof to an EPDM roof. This alternative also was included in the other two bids, and Brockway was still the lowest bidder.
• Glass and glazing — Zephyr Aluminum of Dubuque had the low bid of $183,800 compared to Sorrell Glass in Washington, Iowa, with a bid of $216,975.
• Acoustical ceilings — Sticks on Stilts of Wayland was the lone bidder at $107,764.
• Elevator — Kone Elevator was the only bidder at $99,000.
• Plumbing and air handling — Cunningham Inc. in Oskaloosa was the lowest bidder at $3.7 million.
Other bids were Brockway Mechanical in Burlington at $4.06 million; Frank Millard and Company Inc. with three locations in Southeast Iowa, bid $4.5 million; and Winger Contracting in Ottumwa bid $4.27 million.
• Electrical — Mohrfield Electric of Fort Madison had the lowest bid at $1.31 million.
Two more bids were received, $1.34 million from Van Maanen Electric in Newton and $1.61 million from DeVries Electric Inc. in Pella.
• The 10th bid package, for test and balancing new systems was pulled from the original package after receiving no bids.
“Test and balances is a contractor that comes in 18 to 24 months after the completion of a project and checks air flow, water flow and makes sure all the systems are working as they are supposed to,” Perry said in April. “We didn’t get any bids probably because it’s two years away or so.”
It doesn’t have to be bid, it can be negotiated, added Fred McElwee, school district auxiliary services director.
The completion of the renovation/addition to the high school is still projected for fall 2015, even with the start date beginning three months later than planned.