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- 2012 - October - 3rd -

8 bidders remain for old federal courthouse

by Karen Brune Mathis, Managing Editor

Eight firms remain eligible to bid on the City job to renovate the old federal courthouse at 311 W. Monroe St. Downtown for use by the State Attorney’s Office.

Representatives of the eight signed in at a mandatory pre-bid meeting Tuesday in the first-floor training room of the Ed Ball Building at 214 N. Hogan St.

Bids are due by 2 p.m. Oct. 17 and will be opened then. The construction cost is anticipated to be about $25 million.

Pending City Council legislation amends a prior ordinance to appropriate $30 million — $28 million for construction and a $2 million contingency reserve — within the Better Jacksonville Plan’s Unified Courthouse Project budget to the “Courthouse – Old Federal Renovation” project for the renovation of the structure into the State Attorney’s office.

The construction schedule is anticipated to be about 14 months from the notice to proceed to completion.

City Director of Public Works Jim Robinson has said he anticipates a construction start in early January and completion in late February 2014.

While 14 companies sought pre-qualification to bid on the job, two — Turner Construction Co. and Perry-McCall Construction Services — were notified Aug. 28 they did not meet some of the nine pre-qualification criteria.

Of the 12 remaining firms, representatives of eight attended the mandatory meeting Tuesday: Barton Malow Co., Danis Construction Co., Elkins Constructors Inc., Manhattan Construction Inc., Morganti Group Inc., Peter R. Brown Construction Inc., Sauer Inc. and Walbridge.

The four who did not have representation at the mandatory meeting were Ajax Building Corp., Arellano Construction Co., Auld & White Constructors LLC and Brasfield & Gorrie LLC.

Ajax and Auld & White had notified the City that they were declining to bid.

The scope of work calls for providing all materials, equipment and labor necessary to renovate the old federal courthouse. More specific information is in the construction contract documents.

The work shall include, but not be limited to, demolition, new construction, historical restoration, carpentry, architectural woodwork, insulation, interior finishes, HVAC, plumbing, electrical, fire alarms, a security system, telephone and data installation, the fire sprinkler system and the pedestrian bridge construction.

Drawings and specifications are available at the City Procurement Division in the Ed Ball Building.

Turner Construction built the new Duval County Courthouse, which opened June 18 next to the old federal courthouse. Elkins already had performed work on the old federal courthouse before the City terminated the agreement in April.

The pending legislation, Ordinance 2012-382 was introduced June 12 by the Council president at the request of the mayor. It is in committee.

A Council analysis of the ordinance explains the renovation of the old federal courthouse into the State Attorney’s Office was begun under a design/build concept with Elkins Constructors for both the design and construction of the building for a guaranteed maximum price.

According to the analysis, design work and some initial environmental remediation — lead paint and mold removal — began before the guaranteed maximum price contract was executed.

“After negotiations with Elkins over the price and terms of the contract were unsuccessful, the City decided to terminate the contract for convenience and to change to a separate design/low bid methodology rather than a design/build contract,” it said.

The Council analysis said the legislation “was prompted by the desire of State Attorney Angela Corey to have assurance that the project will be fully funded and constructed as currently planned and that funds allocated to this project within the Unified Courthouse Project budget will not be shifted to address other needs.

“(City) Chief Financial Officer Ronnie Belton told the Courthouse Oversight Committee that he believes that given the current favorable conditions in the construction market, the project can be completed for less than the $30 million being encumbered,” it said.

kmathis@baileypub.com

@MathisKb

356-2466

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