Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)


June 18, 2014

School board rejects stadium locker room bids

ASHLAND — A disappointed Ashland school board rejected bids Wednesday to build locker rooms at the new Putnam Stadium and sent architects back to the drawing board to come up with a scaled back plan.

Each of the two bids was around double what the district had expected to spend and the money isn’t there to do the job at that price, Superintendent Steve Gilmore said.

Based on architects’ projections, the district had hoped to spend about $550,000 on home and visitor locker rooms plus upper level public restroom and concession facilities.

However, the two companies that bid would have charged considerably more just to build and fit out  the home side locker rooms and construct an empty shell structure on the visitor side.

Olympic Construction of Nicholasville wanted $729,000 and Frederick and May of West Liberty bid $875,000.

The two companies offered to do the rest of the work at additional cost; to do the complete job Olympic would have charged $986,000 and Frederick and May’s fee would have been $1.25 million.

Architect Chuck Trimble said he could adjust plans to eliminate some features and have it ready to solicit more bids in 10 days, the minimum span of time required for resubmission.

The district is under a serious time crunch; the stadium must be ready to use for the first home game of the 2014 season on Aug. 22. However, it isn’t necessary to complete both locker rooms and the restroom-concession facilities by then, Gilmore said.

Visiting teams can be accommodated where they always have been, in the Verity Middle School locker room next door, he said.

At minimum, the home team Ashland Tomcats will require a structure for dressing and halftime, but it could be just that — four walls and a ceiling, a shell structure with portable toilets and a temporary water supply. Then a visitor-side shell structure could be completed within the following four weeks, Gilmore said. The remaining work on the facility could be done over time.

Whether more can be completed by mid-August depends on the new plan and the next round of bids.

The concession and fan restrooms are a lower priority since they are new features and not replacements. “We want to make it as convenient and useable for players and coaches as possible. The upper areas aren’t anything we had before,” he said.

The higher than expected bids may have been a result of the tight time frame for the project and an uptick in wage rates, Trimble said.

Also several contractors that were expected to want the job are involved in other projects and didn’t submit bids, he said.

Gilmore would not say publicly how much the district has to spend but he did say he had been “comfortable” with the original $550,000 projection.

There may eventually be some more money available when the Verity Middle School renovation is complete or nearly so. Construction budgets are designed to accommodate minor extra expenses and the district could legally use this contingency money on the stadium, Gilmore said.

However, it cannot do so until the middle school is substantially complete and that will be in about a year. How much contingency money, if any, will be left is unknown.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

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