Bidding a Project the Right Way

On Nov. 18, the West Jefferson Hills School District board will authorize the bidding of their $76.3 million new high school. The school district, architect and construction mgr. have created a schedule and bidding method that really makes sense. For that reason it stands out in our industry.

First, the documents are set to be available the day after the board approves the bid date. Second, the bid date will be Jan. 12, meaning the owner isn’t expecting that the industry will ignore the holidays to bid its job. But beyond the reasonable lead time, the architect and CM have set a pre-bid meeting for Dec. 8 and asked for all RFI’s by Dec. 16. That gives bidders two weeks (plus the Thanksgiving holiday) to review the documents before the pre-bid, then allows another week for RFI’s. The architect has committed to reply to all RFI’s by Dec. 29, meaning that the major addenda will be issued two weeks before bid date. That also means that answers will be waiting for contractors once they return from the holiday downtime.

This project was going to get everyone’s full attention regardless of how smoothly the bidding process went but showing respect for the industry’s time during this time of year is extraordinary and should yield dividends down the road. Let’s hope other owners follow the example.

A sidebar discussion at the Allegheny Conference’s commercial real estate luncheon Friday yielded news that Oliver Hatcher Construction had started work on the 316,000 sq. ft. spec warehouse for Ashley Capital Group at the FIP.20151113_105213_resized Buncher should be starting work on an 82,000 sq. ft. warehouse at Findlay Industrial Park sometime later this winter

The park’s developer, Imperial Land Co. said that there were other users interested in lots at the park, as well as at smaller sites in Imperial Land’s new Westport Woods. The entry road for that is shown on the photo at left.

Continental Building Systems has started construction on the next flex office at Pittsburgh International Business Park, a 62,000 sq. ft. fifth building branded as Building 400. Continental was also selected to build the retail shops at the Siena at St. Clair. The 87,000 sq. ft. building will house the complementary retailers at the center anchored by Whole Foods.

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