Mt. Vernon Register-News

December 10, 2013

Bid opening set for Thursday

By TRAVIS MORSE travis.morse@register-news.com
The Register-News

---- — MT. VERNON — Construction bids for the new proposed Mt. Vernon Township High School will be opened at a special ceremony set for 2 p.m. Thursday at the MVTHS auditorium.

The bid opening was originally scheduled for Dec. 5, but was postponed to give contractors additional time to submit their bids.

Twenty-five construction projects are being bid out in this phase of the effort. Consultants are hoping to receive more than 100 total bids.

The ceremony is expected to last at least two hours, if not longer. Bids will not be awarded at Thursday’s event.

“We’re just hopeful that we’ve done a good job working with McCarthy and FGM on our estimates going into this,” said Superintendent Michael Smith. “We’re just hoping for a favorable market and a favorable result that aligns with our planning.”

School officials discussed the bid opening at a meeting Monday of the MVTHS Board of Education’s Building Committee.

Representatives of FGM Architects and the McCarthy firm were on hand to provide a rundown of what board members should expect at the opening.

Chris Nisbet, project director for McCarthy, said Thursday’s ceremony will be a crucial part of the overall process.

“The district has a budget so the bids have to come under that,” Nisbet said.

All the project bids will be read aloud at Thursday’s ceremony.

Then, next week, consultants will interview contractors who submitted bids for certain “critical” projects. This includes earthwork, plumbing, concrete, electrical, heating, masonry and more.

The MVTHS Board will then hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Dec. 19. At that time, consultants will present their recommendations for the 10 critical bidders and the board will vote on whether to accept them.

The remaining 15 construction bids will be awarded in mid-January. Later next year, additional parts of the project, such as furniture and audio-visual equipment, will be bid out.

Building Committee members Monday also discussed options for acquiring more revenue for the new school, in case the project cost comes in higher than anticipated.

Smith handed out paperwork to the committee outlining some of these alternatives. The selling of bonds and refinancing options were among the topics covered.

“We’re trying to plan for the worst-case scenario and we hope it’s the best-case scenario,” Smith said. “What I distributed to the board this evening was just some ideas and some thoughts about if we needed additional financing, what some options were for them to take a look at.”

The committee did not make any decisions Monday related to these options.