06/13/14 — School project bids opened

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School project bids opened

By Ethan Smith
Published in News on June 13, 2014 1:46 PM

The bids are now open for the Spring Creek and Grantham middle schools projects.

The public bid opening was held Thursday at the Best Western on Spence Avenue.

A total of 275 bids were eligible to be opened at the meeting, which was attended by not only representatives of the companies placing bids, but also by the Wayne County commissioners and school board members.

Five bidders did not have enough competitors in their respective categories and they will be asked to rebid at the end of next week.

The Wayne County Board of Education hired Metcon/TA Loving Co. to serve as its construction manager at risk and is responsible for sub-contracting the various bidders for the projects, which are expected to cost $37 million.

Metcon/TA Loving Co. sought the "lowest responsive and responsible bidders" for each category, meaning those who bid needed to have properly filled out all paperwork to be eligible.

"We will review each lowest bidder on each project and review their bids," said Mike Burriss, vice president of construction management for Metcon. "This is to make sure that each bidder is able to do what they listed at the price they listed before we recommend them to the board to proceed with the project."

The list of the lowest bidders for each portion of the projects was expected to be released today.

"I think it was important that we had a good turnout and good competition for the bids, and we did," Burriss said.

Commissioners, earlier this month, unanimously approved a $41.5 million financing package for the projects.

The total is about $5 million above the baseline figure previously used by commissioners and the school board.

The additional amount was recommended by the county's bond attorney and financial consultants to ensure the county has enough money to complete work.

Commissioners have said the county will only use the amount needed, which is expected to be less than the $41.5 million.

The school board has deeded the two school sites to the county so that the county will be able to recoup an estimated $1.2 million in sales tax associated with the projects.

In turn, the county will lease the properties back to the school board.

The school board will use $2.2 million annually from lottery and sales tax revenues to repay the financing. The county will cover any amount above that.

The operating expenses for the two new schools will come out of the school board's existing budget.

The package still has to be approved by the Local Government Commission before proceeding. Commissioners and school board members are scheduled to appear before the Commission next month.