Plans for a new aquatic center at Niles North High School will go out for a second set of bids after the first price quotes came in at almost $15 million, about $1.85 more than the district expected.
The Niles Township High School District 219 school board agreed to ask for new bids for general trade work, electrical components and work and mechanical components and work after bids in those three areas exceeded original estimates.
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Christine Olseon of Legat Architects, which designed the 52,000-square-foot project, said she hopes the rebidding, with clarification on what the district is asking for in the revised bid documents, will result in lower bid figures.
The district changed the bid specifications slightly in all three areas, by, for example, not specifying certain brands of lighting fixtures but leaving the bid process open to all manufacturers that meet the standards called for. The rooftop condensers and mechanical units have been combined to create a simpler system, and several items in the general trades contract have been simplified or eliminated, according to a memo from Paul O’Malley, the assistant superintendent for business services, to the superintendent and school boards.
Representatives from Legat Architects and District 219 will meet with potential bidders to explain the changes, O’Malley said, and new bids were due Feb. 13. The school board is scheduled to approve all the winning bids at its meeting Feb.27.
The pool project, slated to start construction this year, has long been included on the district’s facilities plan.
At the same time, the school board decided to postpone taking action on a contract to build a new inflatable structure over the 10 new outdoor tennis courts along Oakton Street on the Niles West campus. The district had estimated that an air-filled structure would cost about $450,000, but bids came in at about $800,000.
O’Malley’s office suggested that the district add building the structure to the responsibilities of a “tennis provider” with whom the district plans to contract to provide tennis programs.
The school board tabled that proposal.
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