2006-09-14 / News

Council awards $2.96 million contract for Town Hall construction

By Dotti Farrington

As expected at a special meeting last Thursday, Sept. 7, the Town Council awarded a $2,960,111 contract for the new town hall complex to Pezzuco Construction of Cranston, with construction to start within a few weeks and completed in 10 months.

The office complex will be built around the existing Town Hall on Narragansett Avenue. Voters in June 2005 approved spending a maximum of $3 million on the project.

At last week's special session, Town Administrator Bruce Keiser confirmed information he gave the councilors at their Aug. 28 meeting. At that time, they wanted a review of potential contingency needs because the limit set by voters left less than $40,000 for overruns.

Keiser reinforced his findings that little contingency was needed since Pezzuco is committed to its revised bid. Due to the high level of detail in the project plans, the contractor was able to develop exacting quotes for the requirements of the job, Keiser said.

The plans were prepared by Jamestown architect William Burgin.

In addition, Keiser told the council that he had found that Pezzuco had completed its most recent project, a $1.4 million Riverside library, under budget despite onsite problems that surfaced after construction started. Riverside officials praised Pezzuco's work, according to Keiser.

The contractor is not only "confident that it (the project) is doable as bid," Keiser said, but the firm has also volunteered to lead off the town's intent to get donations for added amenities for the new office complex. Pezzuco has pledged to provide a cupola for the structure, the town administrator reported, although no value was specified for the gift.

Keiser has been making inquiries among possible donors to provide some extras that might have been provided if the original bids were not over the budgeted amount. He said he has been encouraged by the responses he has been getting. The councilors said they were prepared to name a committee to co-ordinate donations and items to be funded.

The town received four bids on the town hall project in June. All over budget, the bids ranged from $3.4 million to $4.3 million. Rules on bidding procedure enabled the town to negotiate costs with the three lowest bidders.

The bids were: Pezzuco, $3,435,395; ADS Construction of East Providence, $3,690,000; J. G. Edwards Construction of Portsmouth, $3,983,000; and Parker Thompson of East Providence, $4,318,128.

Pezzuco said that it based its bid on those of subcontractors, and some subcontractors were higher than Pezzuco expected. The firm soon after reduced its quote by $240,000, then the town agreed to a revised heating and air conditioning plan for a savings of $236,500. A change in basement layout and changing from custom to stock windows enabled more savings.

Pezzuco was established in 1987 as a general contractor. Richard Pezzuco is president and Ronald Pezzuco is vice president and treasurer of the corporation. The two Pezzucos are also officers of Pezzuco Brothers Development, started in 1995, for residential work.

Town Hall and the town Planning Office, adjacent to Town Hall, is closed today and Friday so employees can pack their building contents and move them this weekend to temporary quarters at the town golf course building. They

will set up their temporary offices on Monday, and plan to reopen to the public, at the Golf Course location, on Tuesday (Sept. 19) and operate there until the new complex is completed.

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