WHS Exterior Renovation Likely Delayed
WETHERSFIELD - A calculation error by the lowest-bidding firm for Wethersfield High School renovation site work will likely set the exterior component of the project’s first phase back a month.

       Colossale Concrete Inc. of Berlin was the lowest bidder out of the four firms with a proposed $6.3 million price tag for the exterior portion of phase 1, which includes work on the parking lot and football field. At a July 23 Wethersfield Town Council meeting during which the bids were presented, the company opted to pull its bid, alleging a miscalculation. The remaining offers were consequently rejected, prompting the firms to start the process over at the end of last week.

       “Technically they can do it, but it just seems a little odd,” said Wethersfield Deputy Mayor John Console the day after the meeting.


       The firms would have been asked to re-bid anyway since most of the offers were over the $7.2-$7.3 million budget the Wethersfield High School Building Committee set for the site work portion of the project, said council and committee member David Drake. The second lowest bid was from Midstate Development for over $7.8 million.

       “Wasn’t the best news, but what are you going to do?” Drake said. “Gotta keep going.”

       Site work at the high school was set to begin Aug. 18, but this latest hiccup will likely set this portion back to Sept. 18, Drake and Console both said.

       “It’s not the end of the world,” Drake said. “We’ll just have to do more work in the winter. This is a big project. We’re going have a ton of problems like this.”

       One concern is that getting the site work started in August would have taken care of the job before students returned for classes. Now, that will not be the case.

       “They said they made some concessions so that they wouldn’t have an issue disrupting classes,” Console said.

       The renovation project, which includes the addition of a new gymnasium, media center and music wing, will proceed in two phases--a measure taken to keep costs down and construction on schedule despite the presence of PCBs and a removal process that will delay interior work on the existing buildings.

       The project team hoped to garner approval for the construction of the new wings of the building by March 19. Tackling the PCB issue and the outside work in one package would have pushed this back to July.