July 15 2015

Burlington To Do Second Bid Search for Renovation of Town Owned Building

By: Rich Hosford

Burlington officials are going to take another stab at finding an acceptable bid for renovation work on a town owned building they hope to use for new office space. 

As reported on BNEWS, the initial bids for the work at 33 Center Street were all above what the town was allowed to spend


During May Town Meeting, the body voted to appropriate $1,650,000 to renovate the town-owned building at 33 Center Street. The property is located next to Town Hall and was formerly a bank. 


The plan is to convert the bank into office space and move the Health Department and Burlington Youth & Family Services out of the Human Resources Building to the new location. This will free up space for programs for the Recreation Department and the Council on Aging, which are both located in the Human Services Building. 


At the time, Town Administrator John Petrin told Town Meeting members that an evaluation of the building showed that many of its core systems, including the electrical system, needed to be replaced and that it would be more cost effective to strip the existing walls and rebuild rather than to try and modify what currently exists. 


At the Board of Selectmen meeting on Monday, Petrin said the plan now is to take a look at the plans and see what can be changed and then to go out for a second rounds of bids in the fall. He said if the bids at that time are so high the town might combine the work at the building with work needed at the Human Services Building and put them out as a package. 

Kevin Buckley of KCBA Architects, the company the town uses to draw up its plans for buildings and to come up with estimates on what bids will cost, said this situation was a first. 

“In 15-plus years we have worked with town we have never had this happen before,” he said. “We hire the best estimators. In 15 years built over 45 million in projects and this is the first that we came in over budget.”

Buckley said there were four bids, one was just under $2 million and the other three were over $2 million. 

He said the biggest factor the bids were high  was that between the time the estimator did the estimate in February to when the bids were collected this summer the economy improved and prices for work went up. 

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