The School Building Committee discussed a contract related to mechanical systems and energy efficiency Monday night as the city prepares to release 15 subcontractor bids and the general contractor bids today.
The city is slated to open the subcontractor bids on July 12 and the general contractor bids on July 25.
The issue was raised by Kristian Whitsett of Margo Jones Architects.
“The (contract) specifications are at the printers right now,” Whitsett said, “but it has come to our attention that the city has a contract with Siemens (USA).
“We had a discussion about whether we wanted Siemens to be a proprietary contractor,” Whitsett said. “Our mechanical engineer said that Siemens tends to be high (for contract bids), so we looked at options.”
Those options include listing Siemens in the base bid and listing alternate vendors as an alternate if the Siemens bid is deemed too high.
“No matter who is selected to be the contractor, their system has to be able to interface with the Siemens system,” Whitsett said.
Mayor Daniel M. Knapik said Siemens has been retained by the city to perform an energy audit of all municipal buildings and oversee construction work related to increasing the energy efficiency of those buildings.
“We couldn’t include this new school (in that contract) because it hasn’t been built yet,” Knapik said. “We will have a maintenance department citywide to maintain school and municipal buildings. Siemens is developing a training program for the systems now being installed. That training will be on DVD so we can use it to train new employees as people retire.”
Knapik said the idea is to have as many standard systems as possible to increase the maintenance department’s capability to sustain those systems across the city’s inventory of buildings.
Purchasing Director Tammy Tefft said that while the Siemens bid may be higher, the city could incur additional costs above the base bids submitted by other vendors.
Tefft said she anticipate a robust response to the city’s bid advertising because the proposed school “is a hot button project.”
The committee voted to include the environmental controls as an alternate, inserting it as alternative #6 on the project alternate list.