What was hoped would bring the price tag down for the renovation of Northampton High School did just the opposite when the bids came in this week for the project. The 2nd bid process once again only brought one bid from contractors, this time at $98,853,500.
Supervisors and School Board members balked at the last bid price, which was $14 million lower at $84,456,429, and opted to go back to the drawing board, making tweaks to the design and sending the project back out, hoping a more affordable option would come along.
According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Lisa Martin, four contractors came to the pre-bid meeting, attendance at which was a requirement. One of the contractors who attended reached out during the study period and asked for two more weeks to get their proposal finalized. Northampton County obliged and extended the deadline by two weeks for all contractors. When the day came the M.B. Kahn Construction Company, Inc. submitted the lone bid, which was not the company who had asked for the extension.
“We are looking at options, ” said Dr. Martin. “School and County staff continue to work with Skanska, our Construction Management firm, and Woolpert, our A&E firm to discuss next steps.”
While discussing the original $84 million dollar bid at a meeting last September, the Supervisors indicated they could swing a $60 million project, making either an $84 million and a $98.8 million project highly unlikely.
The County has already borrowed $53 million for the project before interest rates were hiked. They also received a $16 million grant from the Virginia Department of Education.