October 10, 2012 - Mehlville School District officials narrowed down 16 bids for its auditorium project — all of which were less than the $6 million budget — to four and will have a recommendation to present to the Board of Education when it meets Oct. 17.
Director of Facilities Steve Habeck told the Facilities Committee last week district officials will conduct interviews with the "bottom four" companies this week. The base bids for the four low bidders are: Orf Construction, $5,175,000; Trico Construction, $5,175,000; Lamb Construction Co., $5,165,800; and Wright Construction Services, $5,134,000.
Bids for the four companies with four proposed alternates — connecting corridor, loudspeakers, audio mixing console, wireless microphone, backstage TV and distribution and gypsum board in the auditorium — are:
• Orf, $5,425,400.
• Trico, $5,414,520.
• Lamb, $5,414,800.
• Wright, $5,342,700.
Regarding alternates, Facilities Committee member Tim Hudwalker said the connecting corridor is "probably a big decision."
"I would say a lot of the rest of those could be deferred," he said. "I would say you want to do the (gypsum) board in the auditorium now because you can't go back and do that."
Board member Ron Fedorchak, who attended the meeting, said he agreed with Hudwalker's opinion on the corridor.
"I want to do this right," he said. "I want this building to look good for 50 years, 100 years."
Superintendent Eric Knost told the Call though there are change orders with all construction projects, he would like there to be as few change orders as possible once the contractor is selected.
"I'm just adamant of keeping this job in budget ...," Knost said. "Even with all alternates, we feel that we can run with those alternates and keep it in budget. But I don't want any surprises."
The superintendent said he does not want to select a general contractor then discover after the fact the contractor believes there was an error or omission in the construction documents the district would have to pay for because of a change order.
"I can tell that people are looking at me like I have three heads with some of the things I'm saying, but I'm just that intent we don't need a construction project that goes awry," Knost said, "and that's why I've been so adamant about all the due diligence in this project."
The potential start date for auditorium construction is Nov. 1.