Seeking new bids to renovate office space for a Schenectady County Community College satellite location in downtown Albany will cost county taxpayers roughly $86,000, provided the least-expensive proposal is accepted by the Albany County Legislature next week.
Wainschaf Associates was again the lowest bidder for the project, offering to renovate 10,000 square feet of classroom space in a State Street office building for $584,200. This cost was substantially higher than the $498,000 the Rensselaer-based company bid for the project last month.
But the bids from three other companies weren’t any less costly. Bennett Contracting proposed doing the project for $649,740, while Sam Greco Construction offered its services at $603,750; Mid-State Industries, which was not among the original bidders, submitted a $867,463 bid.
County legislators are expected to adopt the lowest bidder during a special meeting on Monday. The company awarded the bid is expected to start work on the renovations starting in July, with construction expected to wrap up in early December.
County spokeswoman Mary Rozak said the bids submitted this week weren’t substantively different from the ones received last month. She said the main difference is the short period of time between the county awarding the bid and the start date of construction.
“The shorter time frame we believe is contributing to the increased bid cost,” she said. “The big difference was the leap into it.”
The Legislature’s Law Committee failed to act on a resolution authorizing an agreement with Wainschaf over concerns the company didn’t meet a relatively new county requirement for contractors to have an apprenticeship program for all work costing in excess of $250,000. The original request for bids did not include language that specified the apprenticeship stipulation, so none of the five responding companies mentioned it in their proposals.
Legislators on the committee thought otherwise. Some feared awarding the contract to Wainschaf could expose the county to legal troubles.
County Attorney Thomas Marcelle suggested the legislators simply waive the apprenticeship requirement as part of the bid package. But the committee ultimately failed to forward a resolution awarding the bid to the full Legislature, meaning all of the proposals were scrapped.
Plans for a community college satellite in downtown Albany were announced in January to much fanfare. Many city residents now either commute to Hudson Valley Community College in Troy or SCCC’s main campus in downtown Schenectady.
The satellite campus is expected to accommodate about 1,000 students. It was originally expected to be open starting in the fall, but those plans were delayed until January so the college could adequately staff the new location.