DEADWOOD – The February 2022 bid opening date for the Lawrence County Safety and Utilities Center will not be until May 4, 2022, prompting a few county commissioners to voice their frustration with the pace to which the project is progressing.
Commissioners Bob Ewing and Richard Sleep voted against establishing a later tender opening at their Tuesday meeting.
“I’m unhappy that we weren’t going to be making offers in February,” Ewing said. “I really think we would probably have a more desirable contractor to bid on if we went in the winter. I think that in the spring, many of these people, even well-known companies, their plates will be full and ready to rock ‘n roll throughout the summer on other projects.
Sleep said each delay cost the county money.
“What is it going to do?” ” He asked.
Ewing said missing the mark on critical deadlines cost the county money.
“So I think my ‘no’ – and it’s irritating – because I think of taxpayers. And every time we hit that on the road kick the box whatever you call it, it costs us money whether we like it or not, ”Ewing said. “And I understand everything that’s been discussed here, the reasons and everything, but there’s just no way I can keep voting for further delays and all that. It just doesn’t happen there.
Lawrence County Sheriff Brian Dean said experts working on the project were working hard, as were members of the project committee.
“What is important or what is expressed by the board as being important is of interest to us, so we continue to work on your behalf to try to meet your expectations,” Dean said. “Elevatus did the right thing, in that, through their correspondence, they informed us that there was a problem in trying to meet the expectations that the offers would be accepted in February. “
Elevatus Architecture informed the commission that the project schedule may not meet their expectations in a letter written on November 3.
“From what I understand, the commission wishes to release the tender documents to the contractors to bid at the end of the winter with the aim of catching the contractors as they actively continue the work for the following spring and summer, ”wrote Tony Vie, partner, Elevatus Architecture. “The assumption is that the contractors will bid on the project more competitively the sooner they assemble their bids. While we agree with the approach, in our experience, contractors capable of a project of this scale are likely to bid aggressively anyway.
The current project schedule is as follows: the tender documents are completed on April 1, 2022; four week contractor’s bidding period with bids opening on May 2; contract negotiation for two weeks; and construction is scheduled to begin on May 17th.
Vie acknowledged in the letter that the schedule likely did not meet the expectations of the commission.
“A more desirable schedule complements the tender documents closer to February or early March,” Life wrote. “However, it would be irresponsible to force an expedited publication of the tender document to achieve this goal, as it would certainly increase the likelihood of bad construction documents which could lead to potential problems during construction, ultimately resulting in orders for construction. costly modification This is a scenario that we must avoid.
Dean said the delay should not be interpreted as unnecessary time that passes while nothing is being done on the project.
“We are working very hard to move this project forward,” Dean said. “However, when we encounter an obstacle, we eliminate all potential options in order to better advise the board. And that’s what we have been doing over the past few months. So I am completely convinced that no delay has been unnecessary and although there is a potential cost to delay, we still cannot move forward at a pace that exceeds the comfort level of your committee working in your name and board, which makes these decisions.
Sleep said he could appreciate it.
“But I think several months ago… we voted to go ahead with the project and pay so much money, and we’ve been delaying for several months,” Sleep said. “For me, I didn’t think it was necessary. This project should have been done when we voted on the amount of money spent. Now it costs $ 3 million more.
Commissioner Randy Deibert said the design schedule was on schedule.
“The heist was on the link and other stuff in between, if I remember correctly,” Deibert said.
Although Elevatus presented other options to the commission, including breaking the offer and a change in the project delivery approach, they were discussed by the commission with Steve Williams of Williams & Associates, who consults on the project, but have not been implemented. .
“I think this is a big enough project that general contractors in our region and, quite frankly, other large contractors outside of our region, are interested in this project, that you offer it in February, in March or April, anytime, ”Williams says.
Williams stressed that there should be a concrete completion date specified in the tender documents.
“It shouldn’t be left to the contractor to tell you when he’s going to be done,” Williams said. “I think this should be a realistic completion date with damages if they don’t finish on time.”
Commissioner Randall Rosenau said he agreed with what Ewing was saying, but that by listening to Vie, who appeared remotely before the commission, the potential to cost the county more if there was an error in the process should be checked.
“I think it’s better in that aspect,” Rosenau said. “That’s why I voted for it.”
Commissioner Randy Deibert said there was a lot going on in the project.
“The bonds held us back, we held onto our process,” Deibert said. “We’re all in it and I totally agree. I was the one pushing for that early submission date. But as I think about it now and think about it, if we have a better set of plans, we’ll have fewer change orders and that’s imperative.
“But to establish the silver figure that we’ve all settled into and bonded to, they have a hell of a good idea of what this is all going to cost,” Ewing said. “So a lot of work has been done. So to sit there and say, “No, we can’t have them ready by then,” they already know roughly where we are.
Deibert said it was tough.
“If you’re playing, that’s one thing. If you don’t play, it’s another and they seem to have a performance model, ”Deibert said. “I hope the offers are good.”
“Well that’s it, hopefully for it all,” Rosenau said. “There really is no guarantee. “
Deibert asked if construction begins on May 17, 2022, when the completion date is on the project.
Vie estimated that this would be a 15-18 month build period.
The security center building will have 76,000 square feet and 130 beds, at a project cost of $ 42.83 million. The project was about 5% over budget during the schematic design phase and county officials hope to reduce that cost to $ 40.56 million.
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