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School system reopening bids for central office projects

The Rowan-Salisbury School System reopened the bidding process for two of its central office projects at the end of last week because it did not receive enough initial bids.

The school system ran a legal notice Friday in the Salisbury Post, requesting bids from pre-qualified firms for the elevator and cabinets and casework.

“We felt like we had inadequate representation,” said Assistant Superintendent of Operations Anthony Vann. “We had seven vendors prequalify for casework and we only received two bids.”

He added that two vendors prequalified for the elevator project, but neither firm submitted a bid.

Rather than using a traditional bidding method for the central office, the school system decided to go with a construction manager, and hired Barnhill Contracting Co. of Tarboro earlier this year.

The construction manager takes the plans for a building and sends them out for bids to the subcontractors in their database who are prequalified to work with the company. Then, the firm evaluates the proposals and puts together an offer with a guaranteed maximum price.

Vann said Barnhill has talked to the prequalified vendors and they have committed to submitting bids.

The bids already received by the district will be opened once the new bids are received.

We did not open them,” Vann said, explaining that if the bids had been opened, they could not have advertised for more bidders.

He added that there are a number of factors that influence the timing of a vendor’s bid. They have to collect their own bids from subcontractors or manufacturers.

“Sometimes it doesn’t all come together if there are other bids due on the same date,” Vann said.

The setback pushed the central office timeline back “at least a week or a week and a half,” he said.

Bids are due by Friday at 2 p.m. at the Rowan-Salisbury Administration Building, 110 S. Long St. in East Spencer. The sealed bids will be opened publicly in the boardroom.

Barnhill should present a final cost to the school system by the middle of next week.

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