Municipal Campus Pre-Bid Talks Disappoint Board

SANATOGA PA – A pre-bid review session between Lower Pottsgrove officials and their representatives, and prospective contractors interested in bidding on all or parts of construction for the township’s proposed municipal campus, apparently got off to a rocky start Wednesday (March 24, 2021), according to a Board of Commissioners’ discussion.

A member of the township’s architectural firm, Alloy 5 of Bethlehem PA, who was designated to attend the session at Sunnybrook Ballroom, was quarantined after a coronavirus exposure and could not join in person, commissioners’ President Bruce Foltz explained during the board’s Thursday (March 25) virtual meeting. The architect’s conversations and answers to contractor questions were offered online instead.

Foltz and township Manager Ed Wagner agreed “we both were not happy with the way it went,” Foltz reported to his board colleagues. He did not elaborate on why.

Foltz also said contractors warned him some construction material prices have skyrocketed during the pandemic. Foltz, an electrician by trade, was told that costs of lumber and copper in particular had risen dramatically; in the case of copper wiring, he reported based on their comments, by almost 400 percent.

“Maybe we’ve hit at a bad time here,” Foltz worried.

But the construction trade’s turnout for the pre-bid session was encouraging. More than 20 firms were represented. The board can “hope for good feedback” from them, Foltz added.

The deadline for bid openings was, by the board’s unanimous vote, pushed back one day at contractors’ requests. Openings will now occur April 6 (Tuesday), rather than April 5, at 1 p.m. The additional day gives contractors just a bit more time past the Easter Sunday (April 4) holiday, Wagner said. The building’s cost is budgeted at more than $8 million.

Photo by The Post of an Alloy 5 artist’s rendering