HHS stadium expansion postponed because bids are ... out of bounds
The expansion package had been put out for bid in two sections, one for site work and additional restrooms - and one to expand seating capacity by 750 seats.
The low bid for site work was from Home Solutions of Louisiana at $687,500.
The only bid for the seating came from the Dant Clayton Corporation. The company wanted $248,000 for the job. Combined, the lowest price for the project totaled some $935,000, $200,000 over the projected budget.
Project architect Ken Zito said at a meeting of the board’s capital improvements committee that the bulk of the expense comes from site work. He pointed out that plans call for the underground utilities to be moved “which is very expensive.”
Zito said cost could be reduced if the board expanded only one side of the stadium, eliminating the need to move pipes to accommodate additional restrooms. He acknowledged that would cause the stadium to appear “unbalanced.”
Board member John Smith questioned whether the price is higher than budgeted because the needs for the stadium have changed .
“Do we want to change the design or bring additional money into the budget?” Smith asked the board. “If we change the design, will we compromise the product?”
Board member John Robichaux pointed out the original expansion plan called for 600 additional seats, not the 750 that were finally decided on. Zito said the additional seats were not a big factor in the increase in price - adding just $20,000 to the bid.
Some board members - including Steve Crovetto - were cautious about increasing the budget, saying it may open the door for increases in future products, putting the school board in a bind budget wise.
“If we start going over (budget) on the first major project, then this is going to snowball,” Crovetto said. “We have to be sure that we actually have a need for expansion.”
The board is expected to retool the project and accept bids at a later date.
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