June 18, 2002
Serving Western Deschutes County
Sisters, Oregon

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District accepts new bids on school
By Jim Cornelius

Work will go forward on the next phase of construction for the new Sisters High School -- but not without considerable wrangling over the bids.

Only one contractor -- Kirby Nagelhout Construction -- bid on four of the five elements of the second bid package. Nagelhout is also the project's Construction Manager/General Contractor.

Doug Miller Construction landed the contract for site utilities for $330,000 plus bond costs. Miller's bid was just over half the bid placed by Nagelhout.

But on concrete, carpentry, and structural steel work, Nagelhout was the only bidder, which displeased the school board.

The board discussed the bidding process at length in a special meeting on Wednesday, June 12, questioning whether there had been enough time allowed for competitors to put together bids.

Time did appear to be a factor. Construction project manager Bob Martin reported that at least a couple of contractors "would have liked to put together a bid but they found out too late."

Board members expressed concern that the construction team cut the time frame for information too close, although it appears that plans were made available in most plan centers in the state in a timely fashion.

The board debated whether to reject Nagelhout's bid and put elements of Bid Package #2 out on the street again.

A delay, especially in doing concrete work, could have set the whole project back by a month, and the board could not countenance that delay.

"It's too late because of the impact to the schedule to do anything about anything but the steel," said board member Steve Keeton.

The board agreed to accept Nagelhout's bid of $1,210,934 on structural steel. However, the board insisted that Nagelhout in turn bid out steel fabrication and erection separately, with bids going to school district offices.

The board also accepted the sole bid of $944,096 on concrete and a $116,259 rough carpentry bid and a $40,571 finish carpentry bid.

All bids are under budget.

The board also emphasized to Nagelhout and Steele Associates Architects that they are to do everything possible to ensure a range of competitive bids on all future phases of the project.

Mass excavation has been completed on the $21 million Sisters High School project.

The district hopes to open the new school in September 2003.

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