Natalia ISD Board approves third round of bids for bond project

Progress on Phase II of Natalia ISD’s 2018 construction bond is once again being made after the district’s Board of Trustees approved final drawings and selection criteria for hiring a general contractor for the project during the meeting held last Monday, June 8.

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Phase II includes a new academic wing, cafetorium, band hall renovation, and the demolition of old buildings, as well as civil engineering work.
Estimates provided by construction management firm AGCM, Inc., pegged the project at $11.2 million, above both the original $10.7 million bond approved in November 2018 as well as the approximately $9.1 million left after the MDF relocation completed in Phase I.
“As far as the budget goes, we talked about some things that can help reduce the cost, but looking at the market, looking at what the square footages are and all that stuff, we don’t feel like we’re going to hit the $8.9 million of the original budget,” said Nick Tuttle, AGCM’s project executive for Phase II.
According to a project status report provided by AGCM, construction bids are due July 2 and are expected to fall in the range of $9.5 million to $10 million. Board approval of the highest-ranked bidder will follow on July 13, with a planned construction start date of August 4 and a projected completion date of December 2021.
The project is being bid for the third time, after two rounds of bidding under former construction manager Helen Keaton came in over budget.
The Board approved a $10.6 million bid from Griggs Construction during a February 10 meeting following Keaton’s recommendation to choose them over O’Haver Contractors, who submitted the low bid of $10.4 million.
After objections were raised about the scoring of the contractors’ evaluation criteria, Keaton was fired from the project and the decision made to bid it for the third time during a February 25 Special meeting.
Tuttle provided the Board with the selection criteria and scoring rubric AGCM plans to use to review and evaluate bids.
“We don’t have anything that doesn’t have a point value association with it,” Tuttle said. “Everything is cut and dried.”
Tuttle said AGCM representatives and members of the design team from architecture firm Garza/Bomberger and Associates will be on the review committee, and recommended two to three NISD representatives as well.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer

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