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North Branch Construction wins Kingswood Phase 1 bid

November 25, 2009
WOLFEBORO — North Branch Construction, Inc. of Concord has been awarded the bid for Phase 1 of the Governor Wentworth Regional School District's Kingswood Complex expansion and renovation project.

Keeping true to the project's budget and plans approved by voters last March, the Building and Grounds committee, along with project architects CMK Architects of Manchester, chose North Branch as the best suited general contractor for the job.

The bids submitted by nine different contractors were opened Tuesday, Nov. 10, and ranged from $16,088,000 to $17,950,000. North Branch Construction provided the lowest bid. A contract between the company and the district is in the works.

One of the criteria when creating the list of bidders, according to Superintendent Jack Robertson, was the location of the company and of those it hires. Utilizing a prequalification process, the committee eliminated a number of out-of-state companies who wanted to bid. The goal was to stimulate New Hampshire's economy, rather than Massachusetts or Rhode Island, where many large firms are based.

"Because the prescreening had already taken place and we had nine equally-qualified bidders, selection really came down to two factors – low bid and the quality of the major subcontractors. We have the ability within each bid to select a different major subcontractor, but doing so also changed the amount of the bid. The North Branch bid, utilizing the most desirable major subcontractors, was the lowest and thus earned the award," said Robertson.

Seven alternate bids are also being discussed by the committee for specific roofing material, type of brick, pieces of electrical and mechanical equipment and variations on site work. The board continues to work with North Branch on sub-contractor and alternate selection.

Though the selection of the alternates may increase or reduce the amount of the base bid, the overall bid price was "within the budget estimate prepared by CMK Architects," according to a statement issued by Robertson.

Phase 1 includes construction of the new multipurpose building and rearrangement of the athletic fields, as well as a new turf field, parking, and overall development of the site, including preparations for the geothermal heating and cooling system.

On Wednesday, Dec. 2 there will be a ground breaking for Phase 1 of the building and expansion project. Accompanied by the High School jazz band, brief presentations will be given by Chairman of the School Board James Rines, Superintendent Robertson and Student Body President Katherine Brown. The ground breaking ceremony will be conducted by Kingswood students selected from grades seven through 12, as well as students from the vocational center. The public is welcome to attend the event, which is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Robertson noted that at this time parking will be the first challenge during construction, as well as some initial site work, including the wells for the geothermal system. He anticipates that some basic site work has to be done prior to the start of the drilling. The work schedule is currently under discussion and how the work will impact students and staff has yet to be determined.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Town of Alexandria
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