ALBANY, Ga. -- Patience, it appears, turned out to be quite a virtue for the Dougherty County Library Board ... $300,000 worth of virtue, to be exact.
After going through what board members called a flawed bid process to get a contractor on an extensive special tax-funded renovation project at the county's Central Library branch, the board voted last month to rebid the project. And while results won't be official until later today, preliminary bid results show the Bainbridge PDC Construction firm's $3,285,300 base bid came in $300,000 lower than the lowest original bid.
Bids for the project were opened Tuesday at the Northwest Library branch.
"This is wonderful; clearly I think we made the right decision in rebidding the project," Library Board Chairman Walter Kelley said after the bid opening. "By calling for a rebid, we delayed the project only a couple of months, but in the process we saved $300,000."
That, the architectural project manager said, came with an additional $50,000 in work added to the scope of the project for the rebid.
"It's not often you get a savings that big with a rebid, especially when you've added to the project," Jeffrey Harper with the Columbus-based Hecht Burdeshaw Architects firm said. "It's unusual, but it worked out well in this case for the county's library system."
Voters approved some $5.5 million in funding for the project, and interim Library Director Mike Dugan said funds beyond construction costs would be used for the purchase of furniture and other essentials.
"Of course, we don't know at this point what the actual costs will be," Dugan said. "What is apparent is that we're at a point where we need to move forward. The Library Board will vote on this bid at its March 18 meeting, and if there are no issues I expect we'll proceed very quickly."
PDC Construction's base bid was $53,900 less than next-closest bidder, LRA Constructors of Albany, which bid $3,339,400. The five other bids on the project ranged from Quillian Powell Construction Co.'s $3,355,000 to JCI Contractors' $3,775,000. Other companies that bid on the project were Anderson Construction Co., CGM Construction Group and Kinney Construction Co.
County Commissioner John Hayes, who serves as a member of the Library Board, attended the bid opening and said he's pleased with the outcome.
"With SPLOST, we always want to do what the taxpayers agreed to do," Hayes said. "I'm still a little cloudy on some of the issues with this bid because I came to it late, but, bottom line, it's our duty to make sure we're good custodians of citizens' resources. They expect it and deserve it."
Hayes said that while he's pleased to see the Central Library bid process completed, he expects to discuss the 2012 closing of two branches in Southeast Dougherty County further.
"It's important to get the library in our central business district up and going as quickly as possible," he said. "We've essentially closed two branches and have another operating at about half capacity. Like everyone else, I'm looking forward to seeing this (renovation) get under way.
"I'm also looking forward to coming to some kind of resolution about the two closed libraries, about trying to reopen at least one of them. I'm still getting heat in the community to provide library access to the population there. I'm looking forward to finding ways to achieve this goal without it negatively impacting our taxpayers."