Commissioners Approve Muni Campus Bids of $7.5M

SANATOGA PA – Four bids to build the Lower Pottsgrove municipal campus at East High Street and South Pleasant View Road – one each for general construction; heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and mechanical work; electrical work, and plumbing work – that carry a combined cost of $7,514,031 were collectively approved in a 4-1 vote Monday afternoon (July 12, 2021) by the township Board of Commissioners.

The start of construction is still weeks away, commissioners added. Successful bidders for each of the four contracts must next receive the township’s official “notice of award” letters, and submit proof they are properly insured and bonded. Other post-bid tasks must also be completed before Lower Pottsgrove can schedule a celebratory ground-breaking ceremony.

Board President Bruce Foltz, who attended via video conference link; Vice President Earl Swavely, and commissioners Ray Lopez and Robert Moholland, all gave their approval. As he has been in the past, Commissioner Michael McGroarty was the sole opponent.

Along with other estimated or contractual items, and what township Manager Ed Wagner said was “about a million” dollars in real estate purchases, demolition of structures, and minor land preparation for the project, the tentative total cost of the municipal campus currently stands at about $9.75 million, board members agreed. Township taxpayers are footing the bill with an annual capital improvements tax.

However, that amount includes more than $487,585 in “contingency” or reserve expenses that, board members hope, may not be needed. Additionally fees, paperwork expenses, and other estimated so-called “soft cost” items may come in lower than expected, the board noted.

Several weeks earlier, the board rejected its originally received bids for electrical work, which far exceeded the estimate suggested by its architectural firm, Alloy 5 of Bethlehem PA. At the time, it also legally delayed making decisions on other bids submitted for general contracting, mechanical, and plumbing work.

With time remaining in the process, the township slightly re-tooled specifics of its electrical requirements and re-bid that work. It also determined that two alternative choices in the general contracting portion of the project could be eliminated. As a result of those changes, the architect reported, the township saved more than $100,000 over the previous bid totals.

The winning bidders named Monday were:

  • Rebcor Construction, general contractor, $5,216,006;
  • Spotts Brothers, HVAC and mechanical contractor, $714,000;
  • A.N. Lynch, electrical contractor, $1,080,000; and
  • LGB Mechanical, plumbing contractor, $504,025.

Once their decision was final, all five commissioners thanked both board members and others who had worked for years on the project. McGroarty, whose objections centered on the project cost, acknowledged he and other commissioners “haven’t always seen eye-to-eye” in campus-related discussions, but added “all involved worked in the best interests of the township.”

“It’s been a long, hard road,” Foltz said, “but we finally got to where we want to be.”

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