Minutes after a 5 p.m. deadline, the Woodstock Town Board on Wednesday, March 7, opened bids from contractors for the proposed renovation of Town Hall. Although the process is far from complete — in the weeks ahead the board must confirm that the bids comply with the project’s specifications and other guidelines — it appeared that the total bid may fall within the $1.45 million bonding limit authorized by voters in a 2007 referendum.
The town received 39 bids for five contracting elements: general construction; plumbing, electrical, and mechanical work; and the drilling of wells for a geothermal heating and cooling system. With the exception of a bid from a Plano, Texas, contractor, all bids were submitted by firms based in New York State.
Bids for the general construction contract ranged from a low of $468,409 to a high of $1,512,344; for the mechanical contract, from $285,500 to $507,000; for the electrical contract, from $162,250 to $288,444; for the plumbing contract, from $87,400 to $114,000; and for the well-drilling contract, for which only two bids were submitted, from $81,000 to $89,100. (Most of the companies bidding for the general construction contract submitted separate bids, ranging from $14,000 to $40,000, for work on the walls of the building’s second floor, which may be deferred.)
The bids were opened as Woodstock Times prepared to go to press. Further details will appear in an upcoming issue of the paper. Meanwhile, according to a cursory calculation, the total of the low bids in the five construction categories would be approximately $1,084,809, or nearly $370,000 below the $1.45 million bonding threshold. A previous round of bids, in 2008, totaled about $2 million, putting the project on hold.
Town Hall was built in 1937. The building, at 76 Tinker Street, contains 11,000 square feet, including 2,000 square feet on the second floor, which is currently not in use. The main floor houses the offices of the municipal Police and Emergency Dispatch Departments and the justice court.
By all accounts the employees of the three departments have long worked in substandard, unsafe conditions that require upgrading. The ground floor includes a main room that is used by Performing Arts of Woodstock, a nonprofit theater company, and other community groups. ++