Town rejects all bids for concession building

Published 2:01 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2016

By Ryan Kushner

Staff writer

The Smithfield Town Council recently rejected all four bids to design and build the Joseph W. Luter Jr. sports complex main concession building and is now headed back to the drawing board.

The lowest bid for what the town wanted in a concession building and other enhancements was $873,800, but all it had to spend was $435,000. After weeks of revisions and downgrades by the lowest bidder, the cost was still $664,156 — or more than $264,000 over budget.  

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The other smaller concession/restroom building in the architectural package cost $67,000. {mprestriction ids=”1,2,3,4,5,6″}

The design, once described as the “Taj Mahal of sports complexes” by Council member Randy Pack, had been gutted in recent weeks by the town’s lowest bidder, David A. Nice Builders, and the project’s architect, John Hopke of Hopke & Associates, Inc., both based in Williamsburg.

“We’ve cut just about everything that can be cut out of this thing,” said Kimley Horn Representative Jamie Weist of the complex at a Parks and Recreation Committee meeting Nov. 29. 

The lavish concession building was slated to be brick, which unexpectedly ended up being one of the costliest materials in the package, according to Weist, who has also stated that the mere four bids submitted for the package in October were not enough.

Town Manager Peter Stephenson said at the November committee meeting that in order to rebid the project, they would need to reject all of the current bids and redesign the package from the original.

Weist said that after the weeks of trimming down the package, the existing buildings had already been practically redesigned from the original.

The rebidding would need to happen quickly, according to Weist.

“R.A.D. is rolling” said Weist of R.A.D. Sports, a notable sports complex building firm chosen as the contractor for the project. “They’re planning on getting it done by the end of June.”

Weist said that they had been able to cut around $332,000 from the site construction so far, and anticipate being able to trim up to $150,000 more, bringing the cost down from $2.891 million to $2.4 million.

Total construction will be around $3.6 million, according to Weist.

 “So it’s a big number,” said Weist to the Council. “And then once you add in engineering and architectural services, special inspections and testing, and the stormwater credits that we purchased for $24,000 and permits and all these other things, the grand total comes to be just over $4 million for everything.”

The original estimate for construction was $2.8 million, with the budget for the entire project at $3.75 million, according to Stephenson.

Stephenson said that the town will meet with Hopke later this week to decide on where to go from here.   {/mprestriction}