Will compose contract, letter of intent

UPDATE: Rockport commits to engaging Phi Builders as general contractor for new library

Thu, 05/02/2019 - 12:45pm

    ROCKPORT — The Rockport Select Board unanimously approved motions made May 1 at meeting with Phi Builders and Architects to cement the town’s intention to sign a contract with that Rockport-based company to build the new municipal library in the same spot where the old library once existed.

    The motions, all approved, included:

    1) acceptance of the resignation of Phi Builders and Architects as the town’s owner’s representative, effective 8 p.m., May 1;

    2) that Rockport enters into a letter of intent to go forward with Phi Builders as the project’s general conrtractor; and

    3) that the town negotiates with a mutually acceptable construction contract with Phi Builders with a price for the library building not to exceed $2,971,344, and in accordance with the drawings and specifications that were sent out to bid; and

    4) that the parking component of the project be tucked within the $3.5 million total budget.

    Board member Jeffrey Hamilton also moved that the Town of Rockport enter into an agreement with Phi to contract to do stream work and intersection work with a targeted amount being $225,000 for the intersection and $30,000 for the stream work in a mutually agreeable contract arrangement.  The board unanimously approved that motion.

    And, Hamilton moved that the town enter into a new agreement with a new owner’s rep as soon as possible, a motion that the board also unanimously approved.

    ROCKPORT — The saga of just how the new Rockport library will get built continues, as the five-member Select Board edges toward hiring its current owner’s representative to be the general contractor. The board will convene this evening, May 1, following an executive session with the Town Manager Search Committee (interviews are underway via Skype with potential manager candidates), and let Phi Builders and Architects know if their business relationship is to change with the Town of Rockport.

    At an April 30 workshop with Phi Builders owner Bettina Doulton and Director of General Contracting Charlie Frattini, the board considered its options for pursuing the library project following its April 29 rejection of the construction bids, the three of which came in over the target $3 million base project cost. 

    When the bids were opened April 18, the consensus of the board then was that Frattini would talk with the two lowest bidders, and attempt to reduce costs. He was to return to the Rockport Library Building Committee on May 10 with a recommendation. After that, the Building Committee was to make a recommendation to the Select Board on May 13, and that board was then to decide whether or not to contract with one of the bidders, or not.

    However, the Select Board held an emergency closed door phone meeting with its attorneys on April 23 to discuss its purchasing policy and contracts, and to see what its options were to determine how the town should proceed.

    They emerged from that meeting ready to talk with Phi at the April 29 board meeting about being the general contractor.

    Phi Builders has been the owner’s representative for the project since 2018 and knows well the design and engineering details of the job. 

    At the April 29 Select Board meeting, board members and Phi Builders discussed the possibility of terminating Phi as owner’s representative and re-engaging the Rockport company as the general contractor.

    The idea of contracting with Phi as general contractor was explored further April 30, in a 50-minute workshop with the Rockport Select Board. 

    Phi presented a $3.5 million project budget, including what’s been spent and estimates of what expenditures lie ahead. So far, $96,500 has been spent on architectural fees; $11,105 on owner’s representative fees; $43,422 on engineering and other expenditures, including the winter tear-down of the old library at 1 Limerock Street.

    Phi has targeted Aug. 1, 2019 for construction commencement and August 30, 2020 for construction completion.

    Other options under discussion at the April 30 workshop included renegotiating with bidders, changing the design and scope of the proposed library, or halting the project altogether. 

    By meeting’s end, Phi Builders summed up its proposal to do the job for $2.97 million. That proposal includes completing the parking component on Limerock Street, but not the intersection work. There are to be no changes to the scope or design of the project, under its proposal.

    “We will get it done,” said Bettina Doulton, president of Phi Builders and Architects.

    Doulton said that her company would absorb financial risks of the parking component in Phi’s own budget.

    “What does this mean?” she asked. “We propose an intent for the parking to be covered by this total budget. Whatever is not absorbed there, will be absorbed in our build budget. Translation: Phi is the backstop on that expense.”

    The contract, she said, would be at a fixed price of $2.97 million, but with three conditions:

    1) the presence of contaminated soil at the 1 Limerock Street site in Rockport Village (if heating oil spilled there in the past);

    2) inadequate sub grade conditions requiring extra excavation and fill; and,

    3) owner-caused delays (demolition and remobilization).

    The first two concerns will be addressed, “right up front,” the board and Phi Builders agreed, within the first 30-45 days.

    “The risk is low but not zero,” said Board Chairman Ken McKinley.

    Doulton listed as “important points of understanding”:

    “In accordance with industry standards, GC and architect can, and will in this case, optimize material selections in line with the project specifications.

    “Our estimate was done and is offered as if we were in the GC role of the existing client-OR-GC structure.

    “The project management hours/client communications hours are budgeted as such:

    “The hours committed to board and committee meetings, neighbor relations cannot be absorbed in this budget.”

    The last concern, the “PIA” (pain in the ass, as articulated by board member Mark Kelley), possibility of the board or town remains to be seen.

    The board is to meet with Phi this evening at 7 p.m. to finalize the next direction of the library project. 

    The agenda follows:

    Rockport Select Board
    Wednesday, May 1, 2019 – 6:00 p.m. - Rockport Town Office
    moving to Parker Room, Rockport Opera House at 7:00 PM
    or at the conclusion of the executive session
    Streamed at https://livestream.com/Rockportmaine beginning when meeting reconvenes at the Rockport Opera House


    1. Call Meeting to Order
    2. Executive Session

    a. Discussion of a personnel matter (joint meeting with Town Manager Search Committee) pursuant to 1 M.R.S.A. Section 405(6)(A)

    1. Adjourn to Rockport Opera House
    2. Reconvene at Rockport Opera House
    3. Consideration of how to proceed with the Rockport Public Library project

    VI. Adjournment