(ran PW, PC editions)
The city opened construction bids for the new police station Thursday afternoon, and two of the 14 came in below the department's estimate.
Cadstruct Construction of Clearwater had the lowest bid at just under $2.2-million and Princeton Construction of Plant City bid almost $2.4-million.
The city has budgeted about $2.6-million for the project, but architect Ward J. Friszolowski said Thursday that about $2.3-million is the current estimate for what it should cost.
Friszolowski of Harvard Jolly Clees Toppe Architects, the St. Petersburg firm designing the station, said the next step will be to check references and review the qualifications of the construction companies. Based on those factors and the amount of the bid, he will make a recommendation to the City Council at its Dec. 9 meeting.
"If the lowest bid is a qualified bid, then that will be our recommendation," he said.
One local firm, Ryman Construction Inc. of Zephyrhills, put in a bid of about $2.5-million.
Friszolowski said eight to 12 bids are typical for a project of this kind. The fact that this drew 14 applicants is a reflection of the current economic climate.
"It shows that the construction economy has slowed down," he said.
Also, he said, building the new police station is an appealing job _ reasonably sized new construction with a nice paycheck.
The station will go on 4.04 acres off Eighth Street near the post office. The 16,000-square-foot facility is designed to last at least 20 years. According to sketches, the station will contain six holding cells, an evidence room and a cluster of interrogation rooms.
Once a builder is chosen, construction will begin immediately, possibly before the end of the year.
_ Molly Moorhead covers news about Zephyrhills and crime in east Pasco. She can be reached at (352) 521-5757 or toll-free 1-800-333-7505, ext. 6108, then 29. Her e-mail address is moorheadsptimes.com.