The Turlock City Council voted unanimously to award the lowest bid of $5,109,000 by EMJ Corporation of Sacramento for “The Carnegie Reconstruction” project at Tuesday night’s April 13, 2010 Turlock City Council Meeting.
The awarded bid was part of a second round of bidding and the finalization of a long process to decide whether or not and how to reconstruct the arts center after a 2005 fire set by an arsonist that destroyed the historic building while being renovated.
The first bidding in 2009 of the Carnegie Arts Center project was thrown out for various reasons and the plans were not 100 percent.
15 sealed bids to rebuild the Carnegie Arts Center were opened by the City of Turlock on June 18, 2009.
The lowest bid by Applegate Johnston Inc. came in at $5.3 million, $2.5 million less than the architect’s construction estimate. The bad economy is believed to be the reason that even the highest bid was still under the estimated $6.2 million.
A challenge of the bidding process caused none of the bids to be accepted and the project to be put out to bid again.
The new bids were set to open two weeks earlier than the March 18, 2010 date but some incorrect plans were shipped to a contractor so the city had to delay the bid opening two weeks to ensure that the contractor had ample time to review the proper set of plans.
“It was an error that just by chance happened, it’s never happened before, but it just happened to be this high profile job but it happened,” said City Engineer Mike Pitcock. “We got it corrected so we don’t anticipate any issues associated with that.”
On March 18, 2010, the City of Turlock opened bids for the Carnegie Arts Center Reconstruction project with the lowest bid of $5,109,000 by EMJ Corporation of Sacramento and the highest bid of $5,867,000 by SW Allen Construction of Modesto.
“In all my career I’ve never seen bids go down in rebids, so this was the first,” said City Engineer Mike Pitcock at the Council Meeting. “This was a good one to be first on.”
“We actually have saved a tremendous amount of work and are going to be able to go forward with this,” said Councilwoman Amy Bublak when referring to why Council decided to go through a rebid process. “I think that’s important that people realize that we are watching every dollar trying to make sure we can spend it appropriately.”
Councilman Kurt Spycher noted that the Carnegie project has been in the works every since he’s been on Council and said “I want to tell everybody who has been involved with this, great job.”
Mayor John Lazar told all in attendance “Congratulations and give yourselves a hand” and then after Councilwoman Mary Jackson noted that the approved contractor also included in-kind donated services, City Manager Roy Wasden asked the contractor to stand up to an applauding crowd.
At the April 13, 2010 Turlock City Council Meeting, the Council approved spending $6,690,720 on the Carnegie project, including $592,000 that has already been spent on design work and such.
In October 2007 the City Council identified $7.7 million in funds for the Carnegie, including $949,000 in insurance money from the fire, $4.5 million of RDA monies, $1.7 million in Capital Facility Fees, and the $600,000 the community has raised.
The $600,000 will only be used for the reconstruction if the costs exceed $7.1 million, otherwise the fundraised monies will go back the Carnegie Foundation for their agreed responsibilities of furnishing the building and ongoing operational costs.
Carnegie Reconstruction History:
On November 23, 2005 the Carnegie Arts Center fire was started by an arsonist sometime before 5:30am on Wednesday. The building was closed as it was undergoing a $1 million remodel that was to include, a yet to be installed, sprinkler system.
Plans for the Carnegie Arts Center would have to wait until a structural engineer is hired and determine if the building could be rebuilt using the existing brick walls which were somewhat burnt but still standing.
After many public forums, the Turlock Planning Commission unanimously approved the final plans for the $9.3 million Carnegie Arts Center renovation February 7, 2008.
On October 9, 2008, the Turlock City Council approved a renovation plan that included incorporating the original brick walls of the burnt Carnegie Building on October 9, 2008.
A Carnegie Arts Center Building Committee worked on gathering community input and determining the community’s needs for a renovated Carnegie Arts Center. The preferred concept and some funding was approved by Turlock City Council with a 5-0 vote.
Around seventeen Turlock citizens spoke for about an hour and a half at the meeting. Over 100 citizens attended and over 2,000 signatures were presented to Council in support of the restoration and expansion of the Carnegie Arts Center.
The approved “Concept A” (the preferred plan) was a two-story addition to the Carnegie Arts Center that includes the renovation of the historic building for classrooms (1,800 square feet) and a multi-use room (2,100 s.f.). The new wing design provides an elevator to bring the original building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also includes a temporary exhibition gallery (3,025 s.f.), a members’ gallery (420 s.f.), a second floor multi-use room (2,650 s.f.), an outdoor terrace (725 s.f.), and sufficient office, restroom, kitchen, lobby, storage and service areas (total of 17,265 sf. Plus terrace and entry plaza). Concept A responded to the needs expressed by community members at public forums for more programming and rental space for a variety of cultural functions. The cost of this plan was estimated at $9.3 million.
At an RDA Funding Prioritization Workshop key points in supporting the continuance of the Carnegie project were that in October 2007 the City Council identified $7.7 million in funds for the Carnegie, including $4.5 million of RDA monies, the community has raised $600,000 already, it definitely is a blight area that has been standing long enough as such, $838,000 has already been spent on the project and that this project is going to bid on Thursday.
The Carnegie project is contingent on an ongoing operational and maintenance plan. Alternatives to operate the building will be brought back to the Turlock City Council after any and all parties interested in participating create at least three options for Council to consider.
June 18, 2009
15 sealed bids to rebuild the Carnegie Arts Center were opened by the City of Turlock on Thursday.
The lowest bid by Applegate Johnston Inc. came in at $5.3 million, $2.5 million less than the architect’s construction estimate.
In the closed session part of the June 11th Turlock City Council Meeting, the Turlock City Council decided to reject all the bids that were submitted to renovate the Carnegie Arts Center.
The Turlock City Council Meeting agenda had a scheduled closed session to discuss the B Street property and anticipated litigation in a potential case.
After the closed session, it was reported that Council decided to reject all the bids for the Carnegie project.
15 sealed bids were revealed for the Carnegie project in June 2009 and all were under the estimated $7.8 million. The lowest bid came in at $5.3 million.
It is unclear as to why there may be a potential legal case in regards to the bids or why rejecting them was necessary.
Reports throughout the arts community is that there were several bid protests, but again, no reasons for the protests have been given.
At this time Mayor John Lazar said that there would be no comments due to a potential case.
The City of Turlock is expected to send out a press release by the end of the week.
September 22, 2009
One of Council’s expectations was that the CACF use their $600,000 in endowment funds toward the construction of the Carnegie Arts Center.
The CACF’s proposed lease agreement includes keeping the $600,000 and using it for the operation and maintenance of the Carnegie.
The City Council and Carnegie Arts Center Foundation did not come to a decision at the meeting but later agreed to use the money for construction but only if the amount exceeded $7.1 million.