Bids higher than expected for BB/SB complex renovation

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

LE MARS — Only two bids were received by the Le Mars Community School District for the baseball/softball complex renovation project.

In a special meeting Sept. 3, the board reviewed the two bids and conducted a public hearing.

Bid opening was Sept. 1.

“We anticipated approximately five contractors. We ended up have two submit bids,” Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner said.

They were L&L Builders and Wiltgen Construction.

The board had budgeted $600,000 in the district’s 10-year facility plan for the renovation project.

CMBA’s cost estimate for the project was about $250 per square foot, but bids came in between $300-$350 per square foot, Webner said. He said those specs were determined at the beginning of the summer.

The base bid was for the concession stand, restrooms and cement work in that area. The Alternate I was for two elevated press boxes.

L&L Builders submitted a base bid of $754,300 and an Alternate I bid of $613,300.

Wiltgen Construction submitted a base bid of $640,000 and an Alternate I bid of $130,800.

“When we saw these bids, it was a little bit surprising,” Webner said.

CMBA had estimated the cost for the press boxes at $70,000 total.

Webner said CMBA investigated why the prices were that much higher.

“They did notice they are receiving other bids for other jobs go up greatly. The reason is cost of materials is skyrocketing right now,” Webner said.

Webner said his recommendation would be to approve the base bid from Wiltgen and reject the Alternate I bid, and have the board subcommittee come together and talk alternatives.

He also recommended the board direct him to identify some cost-saving measures to get the base bid amount back down to the $600,000 the board had budgeted.

The project will be paid for with Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) dollars.

“The committee had anticipated the project would over the budget with building press boxes, so they had discussed doing a phased project. Potentially a year later do the press boxes,” Webner added.

No one from the public attended to address the project.

After closing the public hearing, the board unanimously approved accepting the base bid of $640,000 from Wiltgen Construction, reject Wiltgen’s Alternate I bid, and direct Webner to look into cost-saving measures in the project to bring the cost down to the $600,000 budgeted.

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