CAMDEN — The School Administrative District 28 Building Committee opened the construction bids for the new Camden-Rockport Middle School in Camden May 16. The construction budget for the new school, to be built on Knowlton Street, had been set at $22,321,850.
Ledgewood Construction submitted a base construction bid of $28,147,700.
PC Construction Company submitted a based bid of $29,778,000.
“Ouch,” said one building committee member at the May 16 meeting, held in the Washington Street Meeting Room.
That puts us over by $5 million, which is 26 percent,” said Chairman Will Gartley.
A brief meeting after the bid opening, the next step is to sit down with Ledgewood and get a better understanding of the numbers.
“Why is this so far off,” asked Anastasia Fisher, committee member.
“It’s a combination of what we are seeing everywhere,” said Gartley.
Also, the two bidders were having trouble finding subcontractors.
“There’s more going on in state than I’ve seen in 10 years,” said Gartley.
A few options exist, said Gartley.
“We could negotiate with Ledgwood or make changes and put it back out to bid.”
“The difficulty is other schools are being put out to bid,” said Gartley.
“Like four of them right after us,” said Maria Libby, SAD 28 superintendent.
Steel has increased in price 30 percent since March, said Gartley.
“There’s lots of homework to do,” said Bob Falciani, Camden Select Board member and committee member.
The committee agreed to meet with Ledgewood, and find the big numbers, and then talk with Oak Point Architects.
“There’s a lot to figure out here,” said Gartley.
Construction costs, including materials and situations (hurricanes) and labor, have increased 25-30 percent over the last year, both Falciani and Gartley observed.
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