Task now is to reduce project component prices

Rockport opens three library construction bids, all over the target $3 million mark

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 4:45pm

ROCKPORT — The bids are in from three construction companies hoping to build the new $3 million-plus public library in Rockport Village. All the bids came in over the $3 million mark, but the owner’s agent, Charlie Frattini of Phi Builders and Architects, said the task now will be to talk with the two lowest bidders and explore cost reductions. 

Project architect Stephen Smith said he anticipated cutting 10 percent off the bids, which ranged in total cost estimates from $3.7 million to $4 million. Those prices include the building itself, as well as site work, street intersection reconstruction, parking lot creation and stream retention.

Two of the three bids arrived after 2 p.m., but before 2:30 p.m., deadline day of April 18. The bid opening took place at the Rockport Opera House, and was streamed live.

Bidders included Blane Casey Building Contractor, Inc., Augusta; Bruce Laukka, Inc., Rockport; and The Penobscot Company, Rockport.

The bid package had been circulated with four separate and specific bid components:

1) library building, including all site work in a drawing dated March 22, 2019;

2) Site plan, Limerock Street reconstruction, including parking as noted on a March 22, 2019 drawing.

3) Intersection design and reconstruction, as show in the March 22 drawing.

4) Stream stabilization of the Lily Pond Stream on the southwest side of the library lot at 1 Limerock Street.

The bid specifications were broken into further categories including types of materials, plumbing, furnishings, etc.

The bids follow:

  Blane Casey Building Contractor, Inc., Augusta Bruce Laukka, Inc., Tenants Harbor The Penobscot Company, Rockport
Bid One, library building $3.335,828 $3,658,944 $3,372,579
Bid Two: site plan $ 95,911 $123,694 $105,876
Bid Three: intersection $242,016 $265,773 $243,866
Bid Four: stream $32,750 $28,820 $28,034
TOTAL  $3,706,505 $4,077,231 $3,750,355


Doug Cole, Rockport Select Board member, said before the opening: “Today’s meeting is the start of a process. It’s not the end of a process. They are bids; just that, just bids.”

Cole had been a member of the library design team, meeting since last year with architects and engineers as the library moved from conceptual design to renderings to detailed drawings.

“I’m going to be surprised if any of them are under $3 million and disappointed if they are more than $3.2 million,” he said.

Both he and Select Board Chairman Ken McKinley, who is also on the design team, said the process now will include attempting to reduce the cost closer to the $3 million target. Rockport voters approved last November the borrowing of $1.5 million, with the expectation that the Rockport Library Foundation, a nonprofit created specifically to raise $2 million or more in private donations for the library project, would be successful in its work.

“The real work for the architect and owner’s representative is going to begin,” said Cole. “I’m not going to use the term value engineering. I think that is a cop-out.”

McKinley added, “This is where these guys are really going to earn their money.”

Frattini said his work now includes talking with the two lowest bidders, going through the bid responses and trying to take the costs down. He will return to the Rockport Library Building Committee on May 10 with a recommendation.

He said following the meeting that several carpenters and contractors in the community have said they are willing to donate time and materials making shelves and other finish work at the library.

The Building Committee is to make a recommendation to the Select Board on May 13, and that board will decide whether or not to contract with one of the bidders, or not.

Reach Editorial Director Lynda Clancy at lyndaclancy@penbaypilot.com; 207-706-6657