KODIAK — Bidding has formally opened for the $80 million Kodiak High School expansion and renovation project.
In an announcement posted on its website, the Kodiak Island Borough announced that bids will be accepted from contractors until 3 p.m. Feb. 20. A pre-bid meeting has been scheduled for Jan. 24 as the borough attempts to find the company that will run the largest single construction project in borough history.
“A paper copy of the drawings and specs weighs 75 pounds,” said Woody Koning, the borough’s engineering and facilities director.
Those plans have gone through several rounds of review from the borough’s architectural review board and are now on the desk of the official who must approve a building permit.
The project includes 77,000 square feet of new construction, 90,000 square feet of renovations and demolition, extensive earthmoving and landscaping as well as utility replacement and parking and driveway improvements.
According to the latest available budget, $58 million has been allocated to construction, $6.1 million for design, $1.2 million for construction management, $1.8 million for equipment, $600,000 for artwork, $4.8 million for administration and $4.3 million in reserves.
Much of the money for the project will come from borough bonds approved by voters in 2009. Proposition 1, which passed by 167 votes out of more than 2,400 cast, allows the borough to issue $76 million in revenue bonds for the project. An additional $4 million in bonding authority left over from a previous project creates the project’s $80 million budget.
State subsidies will repay up to 70 percent of the bonds used for classroom and instructional space in the high school, and the Alaska Legislature has approved millions in grants for the vocational-technical sections of the new high school.
The borough is still in negotiations with an as-yet unnamed firm to manage the high school project, but borough manager Bud Cassidy said he agreed to a small contract with that firm, allowing it to review and comment upon the bid documents before their release.
The sheer size of the contract means there likely is not an on-island firm with the financial ability to bid on the high school project, Koning said. “I would expect that a general contractor from off the island would bid it because of its size,” he said.
Any winning bidder would have to come up with a performance bond equal to the winning bid, meaning a multimillion-dollar liability if something goes awry.
In addition to the financial hurdle, the contractor with the winning bid will face an ambitious timeline for construction. According to plans laid out by architect Tony Yorba in October, formal construction will begin in April, and the project will be complete by Dec. 31, 2015.
In his October briefing to the Kodiak Island Borough School District, Yorba cautioned that the project’s general contractor will have the final say on what aspects of construction can begin in April.
While the request for bids is a milestone for the high school construction project, years of tough negotiations and planning — plus actual construction — remains.
“The hard part’s just starting,” Koning said.
Information from: Kodiak (Alaska) Daily Mirror, http://www.kodiakdailymirror.com