Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors Meet Coverage
June 28, 2023
Public safety building bid numbers come back higher
During the June 28 Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors meeting, Kurt Berner of the Samuels Group provided a public safety facility project update following the bid process.
“At the end of the day, I felt we had sufficient bid coverage on a majority of the bid packages. We did have two big categories that we didn’t receive any bids, and we’re in the process of rebidding them,” he said.
“If you’ll recall, we met in the late winter/spring, and we talked about at the end of design development that we had done an updated budget, and we were projecting that we’re probably going to be higher than what we had originally talked about a year ago.”
That number was slightly over $28 million.
Actual bid numbers came in at nearly $33.3 million
He added that for the two items with no bids they’ve “taken the budget that we had talked about earlier, put an escalator on it. Again, we will rebuild that and have it to you prior to your meeting in July.”
It will be brought back to the county board for their July 18 meeting.
“We are targeting to get them in the week prior to that. So we have some time to be able to vet those numbers and then the numbers that are in the yellow will be updated with hard bid numbers. All the rest of the numbers that are in there for bids, those bids are valid until July 28 of this year, so they have a 45-day window. So they bid it on June 13. The contractors have to honor those bids until the 28th of July. They don’t have to honor it after the 28th; they can. If they are a low bidder and you want to talk to them about that we need a little bit more time, will you honor the bid? They have the right to do that, but they also have the right not to do that,” Berner explained.
He added that the pricing of these types of projects has been moving up over the past couple of years.
“We had a program which was square footage, we had a preliminary floor plan and design and we actually took that off in regards to those dollars on that day, right? And then we put an escalator on that to factor in what are we projecting for it to bid a year from now,” Berner said.
“When we got to the end of design development; so, there’s three different phases of design. There’s schematic design, which is which is essentially a floor plan and some elevations that you guys saw from the outside of the building. Design Development is more detailed floor plan, obviously mechanicals, electrical systems are identified, not ready to be bid yet, all the specs haven’t been written.”
The list is then taken out to contractors
“We don’t get bids from the contractors, but we have them look at the project in its entirety at that time, and they give us an idea of what it would be if they bid it at that time,” Berner added.
“So, then the final one is obviously bid. So, the final phases we put it out on the street (and) documents are in there. We get bids from contractors.
“So, I went back and looked at the history and you’ll remember when I was here in February/March, I talked to you about kind of the index that we’ve been seeing on our correctional costs, and I went back and looked at a little more history in regards to the last 15 to 20 years and pretty consistently you can see bumps in the increases of jails. We do them throughout the Midwest and for a long time, you could see a jail would be mid-$300 to upper-$300 a square foot. We bid a jail in 2020, and the number jumped up to slightly over $400 a square foot.”
He said that when the project was first being discussed, pricing was at $550 a square foot.
In the spring costs were over $600 a square foot and now they are over $700 a square foot.
He added that there was not much that could be done with the project to bring that cost down as the project has not increased in scope and it was just a “bare bones” design.
“I think we can find a couple of hundred dollars here or there to make some tweaks,” Berner said, adding the waiting would not make the numbers come down.
”History has told me over the course of the last couple of years — and consistently — that the number doesn’t come down.”
The board will consider how to handle the new financial implications of the project at their July 18 meeting.