Low bid for Freeport High School renovations comes in under budget

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FREEPORT — The Regional School Unit 5 Board of Directors was expected to accept a general contractor’s bid Wednesday for Freeport High School renovations.

The RSU 5 board was scheduled to consider the bid from Sheridan Corp., a Portland-based commercial construction company. The bid of more than $10.7 million was about $541,000 below the previously estimated budget for the project.

A $14.6 million bond to renovate the high school was approved by voters in November 2013.

The architect for the project, Lyndon Keck of Portland-based PDT Architects, also told RSU 5 Superintendent Ed McDonough in an Oct. 6 note that “there are additional project expenses incurred during the design of the project which will need to be paid out of unspent contingency money.”

Renovations, which include a two-story addition of almost 30,000 square feet and other site alterations, are scheduled to begin this month. The addition, which will mostly be on the northwest side of the building, will house a kitchen, cafeteria, band room and several classrooms.

Another part of the project will be improvements to the flow of traffic for cars, buses and pedestrians. The renovation also includes removing the high school’s industrial arts building. 

According to the note from Keck, five general contractors were considered by the project’s Building Committee and three of them submitted bids. The bids were within 2 percent of each other, and Sheridan’s was the lowest.

One of the contractors, A.H. Grover of North Yarmouth, revoked its bid. The company said it submitted the wrong form and forgot to factor in some costs. Keck said Grover’s bid was “inappropriate” and “the prices could not be realistically enforced.”

Along with the approval of Sheridan as general contractor, Keck also suggested the RSU 5 board approve hiring an owner’s representative to work with McDonough and the board as a liaison and to the contractor and Keck.

Keck estimated the owner’s representative would cost the district around $45,000 for eight hours of work a week over 27 months.

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3361 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

A 2013 conceptual drawing of the renovated Freeport High School. Work is scheduled to begin this month.

I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.