Purchase photos

Commission to vote on revised bids




Son of the late Evelyn Hendrickson

Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund will recommend the Ellis County Commission award the bid for renovations at 718 Main to Paul-Wertenberger Construction, Hays.

Commissioners will meet at 5 p.m. Monday at the Ellis County Courthouse.

There were three bids opened Wednesday for the $600,000 project, site of the future county administrative center. The lowest base bid was from Conco Construction, Wichita, for $631,000, followed by Paul-Wertenberger at $639,000, then Commercial Builders, Hays, at $648,000.

However, Sund said in his memo to commissioners, the first two of three alternative add-ons to the project should not be considered optional; the main purpose to classify them as alternates was to identify their costs.

By adding the first two alternates to the project's cost, Paul-Wertenberger's bid was the lowest, at $709,000, followed by Conco at $718,000 and Commercial Builders at $724,000.

The first two alternates -- counter build-ins and a security grill for the treasurer's office -- would be paid from the treasurer office's motor vehicle fund.

In addition, the $13,000 cost for a glass wall separating the lobby from the clerk/appraiser office area would come from the equipment replacement reserve from the appraiser's office.

Totaling those cost savings brings the project down to $626,000 if Paul-Wertenberger is awarded the bid.

"I think that's within the range we were talking about," Sund said. "It was about $600,000; I don't think we set it that it had to be exactly."

Once the bid is awarded, the county can discuss with the contractor other additional possible cost savings.

"We can visit with them ... and see if there's a few things we can change, if we want to bring the price down a little more," Sund said. "Those are things you do after the bid's awarded."

One issue commissioners still have to decide on is what to do with the staircase in the center of the building's ground floor. It goes up to the second floor and also down to the basement. The third alternate is to remove the stairwell completely. Paul-Wertenberger's bid has removal of the staircase costing $25,000, the lowest of the three bids.

Commissioners also could opt to remove just the bottom part of the staircase, which would leave a hole on the ground floor that would need to be taken care of, Sund said. The cost for that option has not been determined.

"We're going to have to figure out some solution for that," Sund said.

This is the second time the county has sent out bids for the project. In December, two bids for the project were rejected. The low bid was $944,000. Since then, the commission has worked with the architect, Spangenberg Phillips Tice Architecture, to reduce the scope of the project.