Armstrong School District high school bids come in $3 million under budget
Smiles don't typically abound at Armstrong School District board meetings, but that certainly was the case during a special meeting Thursday night.
After opening sealed bids for construction of the district's high school in Manor Township, representatives from architecture firm L.R. Kimball and Reynolds Construction Management revealed that construction costs came in at about $46.3 million — nearly $3 million under the estimated budget of $49.3 million. The project costs as a whole will drop from $65.8 million to $63.2 million.
Project manager Brian Hayes of L.R. Kimball said 58 bids were opened Tuesday morning in the auditorium of Kittanning Senior High School.
“We have very good news,” said Hayes. “The bids were very favorable for the district. We have quality contractors, and the district can move forward with the high school as planned.”
The bids were broken up into eight categories with the largest $22 million general construction contract awarded to Hudson Group Inc. based in Hermitage. Although neither Kimball nor Reynolds have worked with Hudson Group, the company's recent projects include the Emergency Care Center at Sharon Regional Health System, the Heritage Municipal building and several elementary schools in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Other low bidders awarded portions of the project include Independence Excavating Inc. (Independence, Ohio) for site work construction; Todd Devin Food Equipment Inc. (Yardley, Pa.) for food service equipment; Northeast Interior Systems (Liverpool, NY) for educational casework; Preferred Fire Protection (Pittsburgh) for fire protection; East End Plumbing and Mechanical (Sharpsburg) for plumbing; Lugaila Mechanical Inc. (Pittsburgh) for HVAC construction; and Vern's Electric Inc. (Pittsburgh) for electrical construction.
Hayes said the unexpectedly low bids brought ASD another pleasant surprise.
“Since the base bids were under-budget, the district has the good fortune now to add things back into the project that we had selected to take out in order to meet the budget,” he said. “The district was also able to eliminate or not accept some (less expensive material alternatives) in order to maintain the preferred product or standard that they initially intended to have in the building.”
That means the district can afford many elements for the school that were previously deemed potentially too pricey, including a monumental gateway sign for the main entrance with a license plate camera for security; a 30-year warranty on the school's roof; a partition to convert part of the auditorium into a large group instruction room; acoustic panels for the lobby and gyms; six additional scenery winches for the auditorium stage; an improved courtyard; air conditioning in the gyms and locker room areas; Terrazzo floor tile for high-traffic areas like the lobby and cafeteria; and a separate maintenance shed. The builders also will be able to grade and seed the land for the football field ahead of schedule.
“Basically, that will be ready to go for when that football field becomes a reality,” said Hayes. “You'll be that much further ahead at getting that area done.”
Even with previously purchased items, future soft costs and contingencies factored in, Hayes said the project cost should lead the board to breathe easier.
“All in all, everything included, you're still under budget,” he said.
Board president Joe Close was pleased with the bidding results.
“There are some more smiles to go around after getting these numbers, confirming a lot of hard work and a great end result for the time being,” he said. “These numbers still can change some, but it's best going into it this way than slightly over or on budget. This gives us a little bit of cushion room. It's great news.”
The awarded companies must complete certification for the PlanCon process, and the board will vote on an updated schedule at its regular meeting on March 11. If all goes according to plan, the 800-day construction project is scheduled to kick off this spring and wrap up in June 2015.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kittanning considers restricting dock access
- Armstrong groups target childhood obesity with exercise