Cape school officials approve construction bids

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Cape Girardeau School Board approved bids for parts of the high school's performing arts center and the junior high school's library addition at a special meeting Monday night.

Although bids for the $6.8 million performing arts center were received in July, they were over budget. Adjustments were made to plans in general work, plumbing and HVAC systems, electrical systems and drywall to reduce costs.

According to Neil Glass, the district's director of administrative services, district staff worked with the low bidders, a design development team and the McCarthy Bros., the firm hired to oversee the $40 million voter-approved district improvement bond project, to see that cost-saving changes would not affect how students, staff and visitors could use the center.

"We worked very hard to find some value alternates that could change the scope of this overall project when it came in over budget," Glass said.

Different designs were used in all four areas to reduce costs by nearly $400,000.

John Heidbreder, the project's manager with McCarthy Bros., said the first step was to confirm that the work on the documents was being procured in the most cost-competitive manner.

Heidbreder told the board that some costs came in too high because design development was done quickly, which often happens with projects like school buildings that need to be available for use as soon as possible. Another factor he said was not able to be considered by design developers was the poor soil conditions at the construction site. According to Glass, the water table is extremely high where the center will be built on the high school's east side. Heidbreder said a plan to deal with the soil conditions was being worked on at the same time design development needed to be finished with a plan for bidders to review.

More savings came from eliminating features such as LED lighting and wood paneling finishes. Heidbreder said that after an evaluation, district staff decided those items weren't necessary.

Other changes included refinements to mechanical and electrical systems and the elimination of an emergency generator that was not required by code. Money was also saved by resizing some exterior elements of the building's frame and foundation to cut the cost of steel and simplifying the design of the roof.

Glass said he thought the changes did not detract from the look of the building.

The time it took to make the changes may push back the completion date by one or two months, depending on the weather. The original completion date was Nov. 1, 2012.

Four bids were submitted for general construction; Sides Construction Co. Inc. of Cape Girardeau was awarded the bid for $3,057,333. Three bids were submitted for plumbing and HVAC systems; Langford Mechanical & Sheet Metal Inc. of Jackson was awarded the bid for $1,372,430. Three bids were submitted for electrical systems; Total Electric Inc. of Farmington, Mo., was awarded the bid for $986,816. Two bids were submitted for drywall; Wies Drywall and Construction Inc. of St. Louis was awarded the bid for $826,933. Bids were also let Monday for additional work on the center.

Although several bids were approved for the $1.6 million junior high library addition, the cost is currently over budget by around $200,000. Heidbreder and Glass said McCarthy Bros. and the district are working with low bidders in a way similar to cost-reduction on the performing arts center.

Three bids were submitted for general construction; Sides Construction Co. Inc. of Cape Girardeau was awarded the bid for $1,280,343. Three bids were submitted for plumbing and HVAC systems; Langford Mechanical & Sheet Metal Inc. of Jackson was awarded the bid for $179,851. Two bids were submitted for electrical systems; Total Electric Inc. of Farmington, Mo., was awarded the bid for $219,601.

All bids approved on the performing arts center and the junior high library addition were from the lowest bidders.

eragan@semissourian.com

388-3627

Pertinent address:

301 N. Clark Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

1000 S. Silver Springs Rd., Cape Girardeau, MO

205 Caruthers Ave., Cape Girardeau, MO

Map of pertinent addresses

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