Supervisors consider AC request for Boys and Girls Club building

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Renovations occurring at the Boys and Girls Club of LincolnCounty building are proceeding as planned, and a small discrepancyin the project, brought before the Lincoln County Board ofSupervisors on Monday, should not affect the contractor’stimetable.

Barranco Architects, the company that drew up the renovationplans, requested a change order from the supervisors to install anew air-conditioning unit that was not part of the original bid.When the low bid of Scarbrough Construction, the contractorperforming the renovations, came in under the project estimate, itwas discovered that enough funds remained to install the unit.

However, the $18,000 change order request was expensive whencompared with normal change orders. The board decided to call thecontractor and architects to the next board meeting for furtherdiscussion before ruling on the request.

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“We knew that the air conditioner was on its last leg, but wedidn’t think we’d have the money to replace it in our engineeringestimate,” said County Administrator David Fields. “Now that themoney is there, they wanted to do the job in a change order.They’re gonna have to come down and explain it further before theboard will approve it.”

Board Attorney Bob Allen said a proper change order would bechanging from one type of air-conditioning unit to another orchanging the unit’s size. An $18,000 adjustment, he said, should beconsidered as a separate project and opened to a new round ofbidding.

“Often times, we’ll have an alternate in the bid, but that’s nothow this was bid,” Allen said. “It was bid as a project without theair conditioner. The problem is that when a change order gets over$10,000, it needs to be rebid.”

Allen said that simply approving the change order would leavethe county without any comparable options and without thepossibility of accomplishing the work for less than $18,000.

“This way, the board has nothing to gauge – is this acompetitive price?” he said. “The whole purpose of the publicpurchase act is to make certain that taxpayers’ money is beingwisely spent. You can’t just change a contract on the fly.”

Regardless of the decision made on the change order, the Boysand Girls Club building should still be completely renovated bysummer, when the 120-day time estimate from when the work began inearly January will expire. The approximately 100 members of theclub have been without their usual after-school activities sincethe club closed down for the renovations the first week ofJanuary.