Building project gearing up at Purdy

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Earthwork starting this week, inspection contract awarded

Purdy school board members approved a contract for its FEMA shelter and preschool building construction project and laid the groundwork for rapid action as crews for R.E. Smith Construction mobilize to start work.

Superintendent Steven Chancellor reported the general contractor had its trailer office on site and had set posts to outline the construction zone. This week, he expected to see the fence set to isolate the work area, after which earthwork would start, including the removal of trees.

Kirsten Whitehead, project manager with Paragon Architecture, brought board members three bids for testing and inspecting the concrete, steel and asphalt. Each engineering firm based prices on the number of visits to the site and bid estimates. Terracon, of Springfield, proposed taking 15 samples, making 128 visits at $195 per visit as a top price, for a total of $24,960. Anderson Engineering proposed taking nine samples on 57 visits for $22,000. Palmerton and Parrish proposed two samples, 21 visits and a $13,000 price estimate.

Whitehead said Paragon frequently worked with Terracon, which did the geotechnical study for the site. Under the proposal, she expected Terracon would be on site weekly, and no pump truck would arrive without the engineering firm’s knowledge. She recommended Terracon, a choice Chancellor called “a good insurance policy.”

“The contractor wants to stop the subcontractor if there’s a problem,” Whitehead said. “There’s less to rip up if a problem occurs.”

Board members agreed and awarded the contract. Whitehead also noted all the bids came in under the $25,000 budgeted. Prices on this part of the project, she said, usually over-estimates the cost, a better strategy on an estimate bid than undershooting the cost just to win the contract.

Board members also approved Chancellor to authorize any change orders up to $5,000. Chancellor suggested the move to keep from holding up the project over “frivolous” oversights, unforeseen omissions that could be simply corrected. He pledged board members would know about all changes and he would call a special meeting for a multitude of minor changes, should that happen.

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