Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


October 10, 2013

Roadblock for Youth Center

Bids cause snag in ground-breaking


But when the low bid came in, the first $50,000 installment of the three-year grant was needed to make up for a shortfall.

“We were hoping to keep that money in the bank so we could pay to manage the building or for add-alternates,” Zaimes said, referring to additional items outside the base bid, such as kitchen and multi-purpose room build-outs.

Zaimes said if the cost goes up again because a higher bid is used, “we will be working with other donors” to get more money.

Thomas Watkins, Andover’s purchasing agent, said Robert Morel of G&R Construction sent him an email saying the low bid his company submitted was “$400,000 lower than it should have been.”

Watkins said Morel met with members of the Youth Center Building Committee last week and went back to his company to see if there was any way he could trim other costs to meet his original bid.

“He couldn’t make it work out,” Watkins said. “He decided to go forward with his withdrawal.”

Watkins said the building committee could either re-bid the project or award the contract to Dagle, the second-lowest bidder.

But, Watkins pointed out that while Dagle is certified to do such projects, it is primarily an electrical contractor that does security systems and lighting projects. He said the company is just now branching out into municipal projects like the teen center.

Even if the town does decide to go with the second-lowest bidder, it is still fairly costly.

“We are cutting it extremely close with Dagle,” Watkins said.

At a recent Finance Committee meeting, Paul Fortier, the committee’s liaison to the Andover Youth Foundation, said the $4.6 million, second-lowest bid may require using some of the 10 percent contingency budgeted for the project.

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