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Airport entry remodel bids come in on par

Posted: September 15, 2011 - 12:07am

The low bid for the remodeling of the 1984 portion of the Juneau International Airport came in on par with the architect’s estimate at a little more than $1 million, JIA board members learned at a meeting Wednesday evening.

The airport had extra project funds left over from the most recent terminal renovation project and wanted to fix the next area on its list. The 1984 portion includes an outer renovation to match the siding, doors and windows of the new construction, it also will fix heating and cooling issues from the entryway.

The project was bid in two portions — a base bid and one additional alternative.

The architect’s estimate for the base portion was $886,000, plus $128,000 for an additive piece of canopy that would create continuity between the entryways.

McGraw Custom Construction was a little higher on its base bid, but came in under the estimate amount for the additive piece and matched the architect’s overall estimate. The board recommended approval of that bid to the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly.

Other bidders came in close, and the difference in most total bid packages was less than $20,000 from one another. There were four bids total — the others were North Pacific Erectors at a total bid of $1.023 million, Alaska Commercial Contractors at $1.038 million, and Silver Bow Construction at $1.157 million.

McGraw’s was the contractor on the initial terminal project.

Construction won’t start until February and the airport expects the contractor to organize the project and have supplies ordered so the time the areas are torn up is limited. The construction will affect airport vendors.

In other business, the airport’s recent Request for Proposals on food vending in the departure area led to zero proposals. The airport staff said this meant that they could solicit specific vendors to operate in the secure departure lounge. Following an Empire report on the lack of proposals, Airport Manager Jeannie Johnson said her phone started ringing.

Five or six vendors have apparently expressed interest in operating in the departure lounge, understanding there are limited hours in the secure zone. Now the airport will go through the RFP process again, with it being released on Sept. 20 and a preconference meeting will again be held.

Johnson said the interested vendors told her or other airport staff they had not known about the initial RFP, even though it was posted properly. Board Chairman Jerry Godkin asked if she had researched why the vendors who inquired but did not submit a proposal the first time ultimately hadn’t submitted one. She said she hadn’t yet asked. Godkin said whatever the issue was, it’s probably moot now since several others have expressed interest.

Johnson also updated the board on painting the airport’s sand shed. The board had asked Johnson to look into cost estimates from area painters for the sand shed — which it views as quite possibly the biggest eyesore on the entire airport campus. It’s once-pristine white exterior is in poor shape with heavy spots of rust. The board has expressed interest in putting a fresh coat of paint on it until money becomes available for better solutions.

Johnson said at least four vendors outright told her they refused to even touch it.

Johnson said one told her he could get the cheapest paint he could find and match the color, but could not guarantee the paint would last more than a day.

“Who would put their name and reputation on the line for all the public to see it?” Johnson quoted one paint company saying.

Another told her they would not paint it even if they had the time because they would not put their reputation on the line.

“It’s my reputation out there,” Johnson quoted another vendor saying. “No, I won’t.”

The sole bidder for one coat of paint — no primer — came in at $16,000. The company, which Johnson did not name, said it would charge $6,800 for power washing and $9,100 for priming, if the airport was interested.

The board asked Johnson to contact a company who had painted another building on the airport campus.

In other business, the board addressed a concern of the Glacier Valley Rotary Club, which has been meeting in the airport weekly for decades. That chapter of Rotary believes the upcoming usage fees of the room for its club to be too high. The airport, while it hasn’t come close to finalizing rates and policies yet, anticipates setting prices comparable to the Baranof or Centennial Hall, but adjusting for size. It intends to charge appropriate fees to have a positive cash flow. Johnson said the room setup takes staff time and that should be charged accordingly.

“This isn’t a club house room,” Johnson said. “This is a room the airport has set up for a community room, and they are part of the community. I think the big issue here is, what we set as a rate for a not-for-profit organization is what we have to charge for all not-for-profit organizations. What we decide to charge Rotary is what we charge for everyone else.”

On the same token, Glacier Valley Rotary has a long history of working with the airport and would prefer to meet there weekly. The average rental of a room like that is about $100-$150 an hour.

Currently, Rotary members pay $18 a meeting, which includes parking and a meal through the airport’s food vendor. A portion of the meal charge and a portion of the parking fee goes back to the airport.

Max Mertz, with Glacier Valley Rotary, said the club isn’t expecting to use the room free of charge, though they have used other rooms essentially free of charge for years. In lieu of paying a usage fee, the club has purchased amenities for the prior conference rooms for all to use at the airport.

Mertz said what Rotary believes is fair is $2,600 a year — roughly $50 per meeting, sans parking and meals.

“We think that frankly that’s a reasonable charge,” Mertz said. “Our interest is just coming up with some sort of agreement in using this room. We’re happy to be flexible.”

Johnson agreed Rotary is flexible and said the airport wants them to continue meeting there.

The board approved a motion calling for staff to come up with plans for the Alaska Room — rates, conditions of usage, and so on — and send the recommendation to its finance committee, to come back to the board for final approval. Board members also asked for staff to propose interim rates as some of that may take longer, that way people can begin using the room and it isn’t sitting empty aside from airport board and staff meetings.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at sarah.day@juneauempire.com.

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