Construction Quarterly Report
August 23, 2021
High School Addition and Renovation Project Update:The race to the finish line has been underway all spring and summer with the end in sight! As we prepare to welcome our students back on September 7th, for the start of the new school year, there is still much renovation work to complete in the two short weeks remaining. Contractors have worked through the covid pandemic shutdown and continue despite ongoing issues with labor availability and supply chain hiccups. They all understand that with the goal of having the Main Addition, the 400/500 connector, all classroom renovations, and the Health and Fitness Center completed in time for a move-in in two weeks, there is no time to pause.
There are three main projects. The Main Addition, the classroom renovations in both the East and the West buildings, and the Health and Fitness Center.
The Main Addition connects the East and West buildings and includes the new Media Center (Pictured on Right), the new Cafeteria (pictured below), the high school main offices, the new Health Suite, the new Counseling Suite, and new classrooms. The Media Center is now occupied by the district as are the high school main offices. In addition, we are currently moving into the new classrooms and the nurses are moving into the new Health Suite.
One of the greatest challenges has resulted in the delays caused by COVID. For example, there were areas of work scheduled for Summer of 2020 but delayed by the impact COVID had on manufacturing and materials, and all these were pushed into the winter and spring. Even though these areas are now complete, the delays did impact renovations scheduled for this summer. That being said, we are still anticipating opening school to our students on Tuesday, September 7th. The status of these renovations will be evaluated on Monday August 30th and if any delays are necessary, that will be determined that week.
As the construction progressed during the spring of 2021, it was both frustrating and exciting to see the progress being made in the main connector between the East and West Building. We all wanted to have our students passing through the connector from East to West before the year ended. Unfortunately, with all the material delays resulting from COVID, this timeline was never realized.
As the 2020-2021 school year came to a close, the main connector between the East and West buildings was nearing completion. Although we did not have the opportunity to have our students use the main connector in the spring, we moved the principal and the assistant principals along with their support staff into their offices.
The projects scheduled for the summer of 2021 are reflected in the diagram on the right. What was clear is that there was no time to rest and reflect on the progress. The summer push would focus on having instructional areas scheduled for renovations this summer to be ready for our students when they return to full days of instruction in September. With the announcement that there will be no remote instruction option in the fall, the stage was set for a return to in person instruction.
Health and Training Center
The Health and Training Center Project is complete. There are a few supply items that have arrived late due to supply chain issues. This facility includes state-of-the art physical therapy equipment for our trainers to use when helping our student athletes. Soon the new athletic equipment will be installed for all to use. The student athletes and coaches are looking forward to training in this new facility. This equipment will be used by our physical education classes as well as the athletes throughout the school year and throughout the summer months.
August 2021 Status
Throughout the summer, weekly meetings with the Architects, Project Managers, and NB administration have been held to monitor the progress of the projects. Each week our professionals report with confidence that the building will be ready for students in September. It is understood that come September, there will still be work to be completed but the High School should be ‘substantially complete’ and approved for occupancy on September 1st.
At this time, the Main addition (pictured on the right) connecting the East and West buildings is complete and in the “punch list” phase. The principal and assistant principals have moved into the main office area, counselors moved in last week, and the Cafeteria, Media Center, School Store and Business Classrooms are all ready for school opening. Site work in the front will be complete before Labor Day.
The picture on the right shows the start of the demolition of the agriculture classroom and the old greenhouse. This project began in July. This will make room for the final construction of the bus parking lot and the bus student drop off and pick up area. In the picture below-left, we see the sidewalk being installed in the bus student drop off area.
The new agriculture classroom is located in the East building adjacent to the new greenhouse (Pictured below-right) which should be ready for school opening in September.
The 400/500 Connector addition (pictured on right) is complete. It houses the new Early Childhood Development classroom and the Choral Rooms. These new classrooms connect the 400 wing to the 500 wing and allow students easy passage to the main addition and the East building.
The partial re-roofing project is substantially complete. This contract remains open as this roofing contractor must support installation of rooftop curbs for HVAC equipment included in the 400/500 Connector Project renovations.
Extensive renovations that are included in this Project are being completed. This work includes new Science Labs and the conversion of the old Media Center into four classrooms, and the Board Offices. Other projects nearing completion include new student restrooms, the new Floral Arts Rooms, and the HVAC upgrades throughout.
Please take a moment to review the Project Manager’s PowerPoint presentation located on this web page. Also, photos of the entire project are being organized and uploaded to the Photo Gallery & Video Library section of the web page as well.
The Board of Education would like to once again thank the community for the continued support and patience of all. The combination of construction and COVID has presented a myriad of challenges. Thanks to your support, this much needed construction project will serve our NB students for generations to come.
February 8, 2021
High School Addition and Renovation Project Update:
As we welcomed in the 2021 New Year, we also stayed focused on the high school renovation and construction projects underway and this winter, we have been full speed ahead on several Referendum Projects at the Northern Burlington County Regional High School campus. With the goal of having the Main Addition, the 400/500 connector and the Health and Fitness Center completed in time for a move-in over the summer of 2021, we closely monitor progress each day.
There are three main projects under construction. The Main addition connecting the East and West buildings, pictured above, includes the new Media Center, Cafeteria expansion, classrooms, and Main Offices, is now under roof and enclosed in part with the permanent glass and siding; and part temporary enclosure, as seen in the picture on the left. Temporary heat is in place which will allow for finishes like ceramic tile, taping, spackling, painting and floors to proceed. The new walk-in refrigerator and freezer boxes are in place and all the HVAC ductwork is installed and insulated. Concrete footings and walls at the front entrance ramp/stairs are poured as the sitework at the main entrance of the High School has proceeded when Mother Nature cooperates. With the progress that has been made, we are planning for temporary certificates of occupancy in early May.
The comprehensive renovation projects have also realized significant progress this winter. There were areas of work scheduled for Summer of 2020 but delayed by the impact COVID had on manufacturing and materials, and all these areas are now complete. For example, all casework, plastic laminate tops and lockers have been installed in the renovated areas.
The 400/500 Connector addition pictured on the left is proceeding on schedule. This addition will connect the 400 hall to the 500 building and it eliminates the old entrance to the High School West building. Masonry, roofing, and windows are complete with steel fireproofing currently in progress. Interior finishes including painting, ceiling grid and lighting will soon follow. Major renovations that are included in this project will be done over Summer 2021.
Our Health and Training Center Project pictured on the right was proceeding well until Mother Nature paused the masonry work. Concrete and steel are complete and masonry is near complete. As the masonry work is completed, it will be followed by roofing and building enclosure.
The partial re-roofing project is substantially complete with some minor issues to address. This contract will remain open for the foreseeable future as the roofing contractor must support installation of rooftop curbs for HVAC equipment included in the 400/500 Connector Project renovations.
This fall, the NB Board organized a Greenhouse Committee to review the process of constructing the new Greenhouse that will be located adjacent to the East building. The original greenhouse specifications included in the project were too costly. Several community members including our local farm owners were asked to join the committee and help design a more cost effective greenhouse. The goal of the committee was to review various requirements, specifications, and manufacturers. Members of the committee discussed an affordable way to construct new greenhouse(s) for the next phase of the high school project. With first-hand experience and knowledge about greenhouses, the committee recommended changing the plans to Rimol’s Matterhorn style greenhouse, swapping out glass for polycarbonate exterior. The Matterhorn greenhouse is a traditionally-styled gutter-connected greenhouse. Custom designed for Northern Burlington, the 6,120 square foot Matterhorn is a high-quality, strong and attractive structure ideally suited for schools in any climate. Additionally, the revised specifications are more in line with NB’s budget.
The greenhouse bid package is being advertised in February 2021 in anticipation that action to award a contract to construct the greenhouse will occur in March 2021.
The technology design for the entire High School addition and new construction project is comprehensive and NB Nation is proud to note that it’s own technology crew has played a major role in the design development and installation of the technology infrastructure. For example;
The technology department reviewed architectural drawings to design and plan technology needs for the renovations and additions. After breaking down future needs into individual projects the bid process has been completed and is ready for Board approval. Following is a list of the projects.
- Low voltage wiring – Cabling to support data network
- Fiber Optic Cables – Increased bandwidth of the internal network
- Access control – Expanded installation of the access control system for better management of admission to our facilities and increased access control during emergency situations.
- Security cameras – Installation of 4k security cameras to expand outdoor coverage and 4-megapixel security cameras to expand indoor coverage
- Public address system – Installation of IP based speakers for better management of public announcements including emergency notifications
- Time management clocks – Installation of IP based clocks for accurate time
- Network Equipment including Wired and Wireless network – Installation of updated network equipment to increase the internal bandwidth
- Phone System – Installation of IP phone system
- Additional Classroom Technology Equipment – Computers, interactive whiteboards, webcams, etc.
The Technology department will be taking on many of the installation projects in house.
As we continue through the winter months and plan for the spring, we are excited to see the construction progress. As the drywall is being installed and the finish work is soon to begin, we anxiously anticipate the spring weather and look forward to the substantial completion of the main addition this spring.
October 28, 2020
High School Addition and Renovation Project Update:
The summer of 2020 was a summer like none other. During what seemed to be the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, crews of contractors worked tirelessly on campus to meet critical construction and renovation deadlines. With the focus on preparing the high school east and west buildings for the return of our students for ‘in-person’ instruction, contractors worked cooperatively with administrators, architects, and project managers to coordinate schedules and reach milestones. All demonstrated a strong commitment to achieving the shared goal.
The new construction progressed nicely. The Main Addition picture on the left, which includes the new Media Center, Cafeteria Expansion, Classrooms, and Main Offices, is progressing well. Steel and building concrete are complete and roofing is underway. With the progress that has been made, we believe the building enclosure will be accomplished by December. This is an important milestone as it will allow for interior finishes to proceed during the winter months.
The comprehensive renovation projects also progressed nicely during the Summer of 2020. Although the timelines were very challenging, the renovation projects scheduled for the summer of 2020 were completed in time for school opening on September 14th, one week later than the original target date.
The former 200 Wing Art Rooms have been renovated to house Chemistry Labs. These Chemistry Labs are pictured to the right.
Moreover, there was a two-week delay in having our students return for in-person instruction. During these two weeks, all students were in 100% remote instruction. Certainly, COVID-19 presented significant challenges with staffing and securing equipment. Most notably, much of the new casework for the East Building classrooms being renovated is delayed. Remaining casework is being shipped from the factories and is scheduled to arrive the first week in November.
The new Agriculture Mechanics Shop was completed for the opening of school. The new Wood Shop is now relocated to the 800 corridor. Two new classrooms at the 300/400 Connector, picture on the right, have been completed and are in use.
A large HVAC renovation Project was completed over this summer. New unit ventilators have been installed in most of the 300 and 400 Wing classrooms, parts of 100 and 200 Wings, and the West Cafeteria, adding efficient heat and cooling to these rooms.
Pictured on the right is the 500/500 Connector on the West campus. Work is well underway on the 400/500 Connector as the steel and concrete are complete with masonry scheduled to finish in early November. This addition will be enclosed in November allowing interior work to progress.
The Health and Training Center Addition is moving forward. Footings are being poured now with concrete slab and steel erection to follow in November. This work is pictured on the right.
Finally, it should be noted that the partial re-roofing Project is nearing substantial completion. Membrane replacement is complete. Remaining work includes small areas of metal edge, some downspout replacement and finishing thru wall flashing replacement.
Renovation portions of this Project will be done during the Summer of 2021 and include the conversion of the existing Media Center to four classrooms, Central Administrative/ School Board Offices. Finally the conversion of the existing Board Office/Facilities/Publishing Offices to the new Guidance Offices will be completed the summer of 2021 as well. .
As we prepare for the winter months, we are excited to see the construction progress and we are looking forward to having the contractors move inside and finish all the interior work in preparation for substantial completion this spring.
June 20, 2020
High School Addition and Renovation Project Update:
The Board of Education is pleased to provide detailed information on the “High School Construction and Renovation” web page. Please take a moment to click on the “Construction Presentations” tab and the “Photo Gallery” tab for more information.
The “Construction Presentations” section includes PowerPoint Presentations that the Project Manager presents to the Board. These presentations provide detailed summaries of the project. The “Photo Gallery” will include both pictures and video of the construction as it progresses.
The first step for this construction project was the construction of the bus parking lot which is built over a stormwater detention basin. The new parking lot is viewed in the foreground of the above aerial photo. This project included running new water, gas, cable, and fiber utility lines from Mansfield Road East to the school buildings.
As most are aware, the new construction on the “main connector” between the High School East and High School West buildings has been ongoing since July 2019. The aerial photo above and the photo on the right both show the construction underway between the East and the West buildings on the High School campus.
The original construction schedule called for the classroom renovations to begin in late June after the school year had ended. However, as a result of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the schools were closed in mid-March. Subsequently, the start of the interior classroom renovations was moved up to late April. During these last three months, the contractors have been able to start the interior renovations and make significant progress. The picture on the right shows the demolition of the classroom in the 700 hallway of the East building. This area will be redesigned to provide new instructional spaces for our Industrial Design and Robotics Engineering classrooms.
Since the closure in March, the Superintendent has been on campus and has been working with NTV to produce some video clips of all the construction. Please be sure to view these videos in the “Photo Gallery.”.
The new construction is progressing nicely. Spring has brought better weather and progress has accelerated. Structural steel and building floor slabs are nearing completion. Interior masonry wall and restroom plumbing work is underway. Roofing installation will begin soon followed by window wall, exterior brick and interior work. The picture on the right is of the new 100 hallway that will include the construction of ten (10) new classrooms and lead students into the new cafeteria. This will also be the hallway leading students out of the West building, into the cafeteria and on to the East building.
Renovations in the High School East and High School West buildings are also underway and widespread. As mentioned above, many of the 700 classrooms are being transformed into new engineering and agriscience classrooms. The 800 Wing is being renovated to accommodate new instructional classrooms for our agriculture mechanical classrooms and our applied technology classrooms. The two 300/400 classrooms are being constructed and the construction has begun on the 400/500 addition as well. The summer HVAC Project and the Roof Replacement project are also progressing nicely. Again, these projects were originally scheduled to start once school was out for the summer of 2020 but contractors were given early access to these areas to take advantage of the school closure. Demolition of the West Boilers has been completed well ahead of schedule and the new gas-powered boilers have been supplying heat to the West Building since February. Finally, the construction of the Health and Fitness Center is scheduled to begin in July.
During the summer of 2020 we anticipate continued progress as we work to prepare for the reopening of school in September. Although schools have not received clear direction from the Governor as to the status of reopening in September, the NB Board of Education and its administration are preparing for the chance that schools will open on time. Therefore, it is imperative that all renovation projects be completed for September 1, 2020.
March 9, 2020
Anyone who has visited the NB high school campus recently will quickly notice the massive construction site and the heavy equipment moving between buildings. The Board of Education is pleased to post these quarterly updates on the project on both the district’s construction web page and the district’s Facebook page. In addition, community members can follow the weekly construction updates posted on Twitter by following @NBCSuper and searching #NBHSConstruction. The students and faculty continue to focus on teaching and learning while these construction projects are underway and the administration continues to keep a close eye on these daily activities, constantly coordinating construction schedules with school activities. The instruction continues with minor interruptions and the project has been progressing nicely.
The high school addition and renovation project officially ‘kicked off’ on Monday, September 30th when the Board of Education hosted its Official Groundbreaking Ceremonies. Many gathered to celebrate the start of this comprehensive project. To see highlights of these ceremonies, please click on this link to view the video produced by NTV on the ceremonies. https://youtu.be/3RQAy0QO0gA
The construction and renovations underway at the high school is very comprehensive. The Board of Education receives regular updates from the project managers and together with the administration and architects, closely monitors the daily construction activities on campus. This project not only includes the additions and renovations, but also the necessary site work including the bus pick-up and drop-off parking area. As you know from previous updates, the construction of this site work began during the summer of 2019. In addition to the parking lot which is constructed over a stormwater detention basin, this project included running new water, gas, cable and fiber utility lines from Mansfield Road East to the school buildings.
As the construction progressed into the fall, two new gas boilers were installed in the East Building. The East Building was previously heated by boilers located in the West Building. These were the original boilers, over sixty years old. This outdated system used hot water lines running between the East and West buildings, beneath what will become the new Main Addition Project. The old lines are now removed. Also, a new Emergency Generator was installed behind the East Gymnasium. This generator is large enough to supply emergency power to both East and West Buildings. It’s been a very busy fall on campus.
In late fall early winter, the large building addition that will connect the East and West buildings began. This project includes a new media center/library, loading dock, west cafeteria expansion, restrooms and offices. Also included in this project is the 800 Wing addition which will house the new Wood Shop, Agriculture Shops, and Classrooms. The start of this project was impacted by unforeseen utilities running between the East and West buildings, across the addition area and affecting the start of construction of foundations and footings. Excessive rainfall did delay the compaction of soil for the building foundation but when the rains stopped, the soil compaction began and the installation of utilities beneath the addition area was completed.
Currently, the parking lot is substantially complete. The East boiler and new emergency generator projects are also substantially complete. The two old generators have been removed. The 800 Wing addition concrete is complete with masonry walls well underway. Main addition footings and foundations are close to completion and new underground utilities will be completed soon. Contracts have been awarded for the 400/500 Connector, for a summer HVAC Project, and for a partial Roof Replacement Project. These projects are scheduled to start once school is out for the summer of 2020. Demolition of the West Boilers has been completed well ahead of schedule and the new gas-powered boilers have been supplying heat to the West Building since February.
The site will continue to get busier as Spring arrives. Electrical and Plumbing underground work will be followed by steel erection which is scheduled to begin in late March. In the spring we anticipate the concrete floor slab placement and the start of masonry and exterior walls. Contractors will also begin work on the two 300/400 Classrooms with the plan to complete these for the start of school in September 2020. Logistics planning for an extremely busy Summer 2020 is well underway and will continue.
October 14, 2019
On Monday, September 30th the Board of Education hosted its “Official Groundbreaking Ceremonies” on the high school campus at the construction site between the East and West Buildings. These ceremonies gave all an opportunity to celebrate the start of the High School Addition and Renovation Project. To see highlights of these ceremonies and a brief update on the project, please click on this link to view the video produced by NTV on the ceremonies. https://youtu.be/3RQAy0QO0gA
The construction continues on campus. The aerial photo shows the location of the on-going construction. This is where the new main connector including the new media center will be built. It also shows where the agricultural mechanics shops and business classroom will be built. The photo also shows the new rear parking lot. Underground drainage and the new utility connections and extensions from the road are completed. Boiler installation in the East building is completed and the new emergency generator is scheduled to be installed this fall. Current projects underway also include the installation of the storm water piping and the gas piping from the new gas service at the East Building to the West Boiler Room including the new gas service to the West Building.
For a more detailed review and discussion of the history and status of the High School Addition and Renovation project, please go to www.nbreferendum.com and click on the “Construction Progress Report” tab at the top of the page. Also, follow on Twitter @NBCSuper and the hashtag #NBHSConstruction. Regular updates are posted on this Facebook page as well.
July 15, 2019
The following is a general update to the status of the High School Addition and Renovation Project. The Board and Administration have been very busy working with the Architect and Project Manager to advance the project.
As you may know, the initial bids for the project were rejected by the Board in early April because the bids were significantly higher than the construction estimates. As a result, the Board, administrators, and project professionals have revised the bidding strategies by breaking the total project into smaller, more manageable projects. This strategy has been successful as the Board did receive more competitive bids in May and June. In fact, the Board received bids in May and in June on these smaller projects and was able to award the bids. Subsequently, the work has begun and will continue through the summer of 2019 and into the FY’20 school year.
For a more detailed review and discussion of the history and status of the High School Addition and Renovation project, please go to www.nbreferendum.com and click on the “Construction Progress Report” tab at the top of the page. Also, the Burlington County Times continues to provide news coverage of construction process and these articles can also be found on the district’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NBVote18/. Regular updates are posted on this page as well.
The Board of Education would like to express a sincere thank you for your continued patience and support. As the status of the project develops, regular updates will be posted.
April 26, 2019
On Tuesday, April 23rd the Superintendent met with the Architects and Project Managers to confirm the status of the bid packages. The following is an update.
- On Friday, April 19th the first bid package was advertised. This work includes the Parking Lot, Retention Basin, and Site Utilities. There is a pre-bid meeting scheduled for April 30th and the bids will be received on May 14th and awarded in May.
- The second bid package which includes the new boiler in East Building and the Emergency Generator to handle both East and West Buildings will be ready to advertise on May 3rd. These Bids will be accepted on or about June 4, and awarded in June.
- The third bid package which includes the Fitness Center, 300/400 Classrooms, and associated HVAC work is on the same schedule as the second bid package and will be ready to advertise on May 3rd. These Bids are also scheduled to be accepted on or about June 4, and awarded in June.
Finally, on May 10th the board plans to advertise for bids for the New Connector Addition and associated renovations and approve/award these bids at a special Board meeting in June.
April 14, 2019
High School Construction and Renovation Project Update:
As previously posted on the district Facebook page https://bit.ly/2G29o11 the bids for the High School Addition and Renovation Project were received on March 27, 2019 and they substantially exceeded the cost estimates for the Project. As a result, the Board rejected all bids at its special Board meeting on April 1st. Since then, the Architect and Project Manager have been analyzing the bid results to better understand just why the bids received far exceeded the construction cost estimate. In addition, these professionals have been meeting with the Building & Grounds Committee members and Administration to discuss the results, explain what they believe caused this issue, and develop a strategy so that the Board of Education can move forward with this important high school construction and renovation project.
During the Special meeting of the Board on Monday, April 1st, Mr. Romanoli, the project manager from New Roads Construction, shared the bid result range and discussed the average and low bid of the six (6) General Contractors. He also highlighted the different number of sub-contractors by trade that participated in the bid.
At this special meeting, Mr. Hopkins, architect, discussed the bid overages. First, the architect has stressed the fact that the scope of the project was not increased during the design development process. In fact, the scope of the project presented to the voters in March of 2018 has not changed. Instead, after reviewing the bids and after discussing the issues with contractors, it is clear that the complexities of the project contributed to these overages. Mr. Hopkins provided information on the trend line change over the past 10 years and informed the Board that construction bids this spring are trending higher. Mr. Hopkins explained how their professional team will move forward and prepare recommendations for the Board to consider.
For the last two weeks, the architect and project engineers have continued to meet regularly to discuss and resolve the issues with the bid specifications and provide more clarity on why the estimates were higher than anticipated. Here are the more significant conclusions on which the architect and project manager agree:
- The construction and renovation project is very complicated. The project construction schedule for the project spans over thirty (30) months. As a result, the phasing work presents significant challenges and this has created ambiguities regarding phasing the project and possible liquidated damages should deadlines not be met. In response, the contractors added premiums to the costs. For example, second shift costs to renovate classrooms during the school day were projected and liquidated damages for scheduling delays were projected and this increased the bid estimates.
- Since the defeated referendum in September of 2015, the market conditions have significantly changed. Specifically, construction costs continue to rise as we have every indication of a saturation of work for the contractors, especially in the General, Mechanical and Electrical trades. There is a lot of work and contractors are extremely busy.
- The project was bid with specifications calling for a general prime contractor and consideration is now given to presenting the future projects with multi-prime contractors.
During the April 8th Building and Grounds Committee meeting, the architect provided several possible scenarios for the Board to consider. One principle concept is to break the entire construction and renovation project into specific phases and bid these phases as separate projects. This process should make the scope of work more concise, attract more bidders, and make it more affordable. The following outlines the possible “Phases” under consideration:
Phase 1: Advertise for Bids on April 19th and Accept Bids on May 14th
- Immediately bid rear parking lot, underground detention, and utilities as a single prime bid.
- Immediately bid the removal of existing boiler and installation of a new boiler in the West building. Consideration is being given to include the boiler in the East building as well. We would bid this as a single prime bid.
Phase 2: Advertise for Bids on May 3rd and Accept Bids on May 29th
- Bid the main connector additions and associated renovations, front parking lot renovations, new library/entry plaza as a multi-prime bid.
- Bid the fitness center and 300/400 corridor classrooms and associated HVAC as a single prime project.
Phase 3: Establish reasonable dollar values and construction estimates for the balance of the renovations, A/C systems, roofing, etc. to be bid as Phase 3 and 4 during the fall of 2019.
On the bottom is the most recent rendition of the project and the phasing.
The Building and Grounds Committee will meet on Monday evening at 6:15 pm, prior to the April 15, regular meeting. A committee report will be provided to the full Board during the April 15th regular meeting.
Finally, please stay abreast of all updates by following this Facebook page along with the district’s web page dedicated to the high school project at the following link: https://nbreferendum.com/
April 2, 2019
High School Construction and Renovation Project Update:
At the April 1, 2019 special meeting of the Northern Burlington County Regional School Board, the Board of Education passed a resolution authorizing the rejection of all bids received for the addition, alterations, and renovations at the Northern Burlington County Regional High School additions and renovations project.
These bids for the Project were received on March 27, 2019 and they ranged from approximately $42.9 million to $51.6 million. The Board is permitted to reject all bids if the lowest bid substantially exceeds the cost estimates for the Project. The low bid received substantially exceeded the Architect’s construction cost estimate of $29.7 million for the scope of work.
In the next two weeks, the architects and project managers will work with the Board and administration to formulate options, adjust the schedule, and develop possible ‘next steps’ to actively seek the re-solicitation of bids for the High School addition and renovation Project. As this process develops, updates will be provided.
March 28, 2019
Construction Bid Opening Update:
On the afternoon on Wednesday, March 27th the Board of Education received the construction bids for the High School Addition and Renovation Project. Unfortunately, the bids were significantly higher than the construction budget.
In the next two weeks, the architects and project managers will work with the Board and administration to formulate options, adjust the schedule, and develop possible ‘next steps.’ As this process develops, updates will be provided.
March 16, 2019
Addition/Renovation Project Update
As previously stated, Northern Burlington advertised for bids on February 7th with the intention of receiving bids on March 20th. However, due to the comprehensive nature of the project which includes significant renovations and scheduling challenges, the Board of Education has approved extending the date to receive these bids one week, to March 27th. The intent is simply to provide the contractors more time to review the documents and process their bids. So what makes these bid construction documents so complicated?
NB’s architect, project manager, and engineers, in conjunction with the construction manager, have prepared detailed construction documents which are written to include graphic documentation for bidding and building the project. These documents are used to make many decisions, and they affect the outcome of the final project and the budget. In addition, construction documents:
- Provide a detailed look at the entire scope of the project
- Give the GC the exact quantities, qualities, and configurations required for project construction. The GC also uses these documents to solicit bids or estimates from subcontractors and suppliers he or she will engage.
- Help obtain approvals necessary to move the project forward with third parties (e.g., licensing and permitting authorities, financial institutions, etc.)
Producing the construction documents takes a collective effort by many design professionals. The preparation includes architects, civil, structural, mechanical and electrical engineers, landscape architects, fire protection specialists, interior designers, security consultants, and other professionals. As the working drawings take shape, the design professionals are able to formulate more detailed budget estimates with the development team.
Typical Construction Documents
- Construction specifications (or the project manual) outline the materials and methods to be used. These specs provide the contractor with everything from manufacturer and model numbers for equipment, to color numbers and paint finishes. The contract documents consist of the drawings and specifications to which the contractor references when he or she bids.
- Construction document drawings are the large floor plans, elevations, sections, and details that cover each aspect of the building. They provide dimensions, materials, layouts, and in some cases, construction phasing. The working drawings include architectural, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, civil, landscape, interior design, and other specialty areas.
- Bidding requirements include advertisement information, informational instructions for bidders, bid forms, and specific invitations to general building contractors to bid on the project.
- Addenda (or additions) include added material to any of these documents issued by the architect during or after the bidding and/or negotiation process.
Addition/Renovation Project Update
Since the first week in December 2018, weekly project meetings have been held with the architect, project manager, engineers, facilities director, business administrator, and superintendent. Moreover, the Superintendent and the Business Administrator have been meeting regularly with the Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee to keep them apprised of the progress and developments and the committee, in turn, reports back to the full Board to get direction from the Board as appropriate.
With everyone focused on the goal of preparing for the bidding process, many topics have been discussed and many issues resolved. For example, information regarding construction phasing, constructability reviews, and construction schedules has been presented, evaluated, and revised. After the construction meeting this morning, it was determined that both the Architect and Project Manager are in the final stages of bid preparation. Both believe the necessary ‘pre-bid’ work has been completed, design specifications are prepared, and both recommend that the Board prepares to advertise the project for bids early next week. This information was reviewed with the Board’s Buildings and Grounds Committee this evening and approved. This is an exciting development and signals the next big step in the construction process.
A review and update of the progress being made on the High School Addition and Renovation Project.
During the fall semester, contractors were busy completing the 300/400 hallway connector and while this project was underway, the architects continued to finalize the design specifications for the larger high school addition and renovation project. Over the last three months, we have been narrowing our focus on details of all aspects of the high school addition and renovation project.
More specifically, the architects have coordinated all of the necessary utility requirements for the room layouts. They are finalizing and coordinating building wall sections with the elevations. The site work is also being finalized with grading, parking lots, new utility lines and locating building additions precisely on the site plan. Lastly, all capital projects are being developed and are being prepared for bidding. Specifications are also being developed to incorporate schedules, phasing and technical sections for the contractors.
It is exciting to note that we are now approaching the bidding phase of the project. The architects are completing the final coordination of their work with their engineers and finalizing all specifications. They have submitted the final Department of Education educational adequacy plans, and now are awaiting the final response from the Office of the State Comptroller.
The development of the final phasing plans, which inform the contractor as to which areas will be built in proper sequence, continue to be developed. Site logistics are required so that the contractors understand where they can use portions of the site for preparation and set up areas. Locations of storage trailers, construction manager’s trailers and limits of fencing are critical to the contractors to help best understand where and how the project will proceed until substantial completion.
We believe we will be out to bid in January and we hope to be awarding the bids in late February or early March. After the bids are accepted and awarded, the contractors will be procuring contracts for the materials and scheduling their workers and subcontractors to begin the construction of the additions as quickly as possible. Development of the building pad and development of the rear parking lot are critical milestones that will be prioritized to get the project off to a fast start.
The architects and project managers continue to meet weekly with school administrators to plan and preparations are being finalized that will safely accommodate the construction while maintaining the daily operations of the high school. We hope to have construction officially start as soon as the weather breaks in early spring 2019.