Convention Center east view

Bids opened Thursday, June 13, 2019 for construction of a new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center appear to be below an overall project estimate.

Bids opened Thursday for construction of a new downtown Terre Haute Convention Center appear to be below an overall project estimate.

Thirty-eight companies bid on 17 categories of construction work for the convention center. The low bids tallied more than $29.5 million, while high bids were more than $32 million, according to a Tribune-Star review of the bids. The project was estimated to cost $32.5 million with bond and acquisition costs.

"While this is probably the end of your effort, this is the beginning of our effort," Steve Bauer, vice president of construction services for the Nations Group told company representatives at the bid opening  held at the Vigo County Annex. Nations Group serves as the project manager, 

"We will get together over the course of the next two to three weeks and vet those bids to ensure they are compliant ... then present an award recommendation and a guaranteed maximum price contract to the (Vigo County Capital Improvement Board) at their June 26 board meeting," Bauer said.

Brian Kooistra, chief operating officer for Garmong Construction Services, which serves as construction manager, said the majority of contractors that bid are Indiana based.

"From those, a lot of them are from the Wabash Valley," Kooistra said. "I think we got a lot of local participation. I think we got about as many bidders as we thought we would. We blasted this project out to thousands of contractors, but the construction market is booming right now. It is a challenge" to get bids.

While most categories had multiple bidders, some had single bids, including two of the three highest cost categories: site work and general trades.

Dennis Trucking of Terre Haute was the sole bidder for site work. The company bid more than $3.52 million, which includes work on parking garages and includes performance bonds.

Garmong Construction Services, as "construction manager as constructor," under state law is allowed to perform up to 20 percent of the work on the project. C.H. Garmong & Son Inc. was the only bidder for general trades work. The company bid more than $5.89 million, which includes parking garages work and performance bonds.

The highest cost was for precast concrete work for the convention center and parking garages. Two companies bid on that work. Illini Precast of Westchester, Illinois, bid more than $8.35 million, while Coreslab Structures Inc. of Indianapolis bid more than $8.29 million.

Some other single bid categories include glass and glazing, with a single bid of more than $1.89 million from Bacon & Van Buskirk Co. of Champaign, Illinois. That bid includes the convention center, work on parking garages and performance bond. Kone Elevators and Escalators of Indianapolis had the lone bid of $618,075, which includes a performance bond, for elevator work for the project.

Other categories had multiple bidders, such as for electrical work with Sycamore Engineering, HEF Services, Crown Electric and NRK Inc., each of Terre Haute, and Skill Electric of Vincennes. Bids in this category ranged from a low of more than $1.7 million to a high of more than $2.4 million.

In the category of plumbing and HVA, all bidders were Terre Haute firms. Companies bidding on that work include Sycamore Engineering, Freitag-Weinhardt Inc. and B&S Plumbing Heating & Cooling. Bids in this category ranged from more than $1.4 million to more than $1.9 million.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached 812-231-4204 or Follow on Twitter@TribStarHoward.

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