Mt. Vernon Register-News


February 4, 2014

Rebidding of new high school carries risk


One of the main factors that leads to higher bids is labor costs. Black said the prevailing wage for construction workers usually sees a 3 to 5 percent increase every July.

Now that the duration of the new school project has been extended, there will be two July wage increases during construction instead of just one. This will be a consideration when contractors decide what bids to submit, Black said.

“You know every July you’re going to get some kind of increase,” Black said.

Another development that could raise bid amounts is how the price of materials will likely increase now that the economy is picking up, Black said.

This is because there is more demand for construction materials like roofing and lumber, and the supply has to “try to catch up,” he said.

Twenty-five work categories for the new school’s construction were initially bid out in December. However, the bids came in at more than $6 million over-budget, prompting the MVTHS Board to look for ways to cut costs.

In late January, district officials announced they would likely rebid most of the construction on the advice of legal counsel.

This announcement came shortly after board members had discussed possibly eliminating the theater and football field from the new school’s construction plans, which led to a heated response from theater students and faculty.

Currently, the district is looking at rebidding all of the work categories except for about five of them that have not undergone changes during recent cost-cutting efforts.

Black said he is also concerned about the notable disparity in some of the bid estimates from December and the possibility of it happening again this time around.

In one work category, electrical, there was a $3.7 million difference between the low bid and the second bid, Black said.

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