Low Bids on Thomas Jefferson

Continuing the trend seen at South Fayette and several other public projects over the past few months, bids on the new Thomas Jefferson High School came in substantially under the published budget last week. Nello Construction was the low bidder on the largest contract, the $42 million general construction. According to the PA Builders Exchange, the other low bids were:

HVAC:  Ruthrauff/Sauer – $8,600,000

Plumbing:  A. J. Demor & Sons – $3,259,000

Electrical:  Kirby Electric – $8,380,000

Fire protection:  Preferred Fire Protection – $915,000

Food Service Equipment:  Commercial Appliance – $769,862

The $63.9 million total was more than $12 million under the budget that was approved at West Jefferson Hills School District’s Act 34 hearing. That gives the district room to put alternates in place that might add more value to the project. The competitive price also allays the fears of those concerned that the school district’s Project Labor Agreement would limit competition. While the PLA clearly kept some non-union K-12 bidders from competing, the market conditions more than made up for any limited bidding. School districts and government agencies that can get projects to the street over the next 60 days are likely to find similar bidding conditions. With labor trending tighter as 2016 proceeds, market conditions are likely to shift significantly as the spring unfolds.

In private sector news, Carnegie Mellon made a quick decision, choosing Rycon Construction on Friday as construction mgr. for its $13 million Hamerschlag Hall Maker project. The finished space will allow innovative ideas to be fabricated within a few hundred yards from where the innovators are doing their research and development, using 3-D printing to fabricate new products. CMU will be putting the new 40,000 square foot Tata Consulting Services Building out for CM proposals later this week. Excavation for the $107 million Tepper Quad has been ongoing for about a month. PJ Dick should be ready to take bids on the main packages for Tepper later this spring.

Turner started work before the year ended on the new 54,000 sq. ft. space for JLL in the Tower Two-Sixty office tower that Millcraft Investments is completing. Massaro has started construction on the $20 million, 144-room Residence Inn in Oakland. PJ Dick is taking bids on the first phase of the Mill at Second Avenue apartments that Walnut Capital is developing.

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