The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gleason bids lower than expected

Trustees pick Consigli Construction for renovation

After a year of planning, Gleason Library renovations will soon be underway. On September 2, the Gleason Library Building Restoration Implementation Committee (BRIC) reviewed bidding results and recommended Consigli Construction Company, Inc. of Milford as the project’s general contractor. Meeting immediately afterwards, the Library Trustees agreed with the recommendation and signed a contract with the construction firm. Including work by sub-contractors, the total bid of $481,000 is well below the $775,000 authorized by Town Meeting in May. “The economy has brought forth high quality bidders at low prices,” observed BRIC member Bob Koning.

The library restoration will address water infiltration problems in the old portion of the building and will include repairs to the slate roof, foundation, masonry and windows. Project costs may increase if more water damage is uncovered during the restoration, or if the project is expanded to included related repairs such as repainting interior walls or replacing water-damaged areas of carpeting. At the end of the project, unexpended appropriations will be returned to the town’s Community Preservation Fund.

R. Drayton Fair of the design firm Lerner, Ladds and Bartels, Inc. presented a summary of the bid results to the BRIC meeting. Consigli submitted the lowest of seven complete general contractor bids, coming in $45,000 below the next lowest bidder, M. O’Connor Contracting, Inc. of West Roxbury. The highest bid of $729,000 was submitted by Crocker Architectural Sheet Metal Company, Inc. of North Oxford.

Low bid looks good

Consigli Construction’s financial references were checked with the state Division of Capital Asset Management. Fair said that Consigli Construction’s is experienced in historical restoration. Previous work includes the Crane Estate and the chapel restoration at Trinity College. According to Fair, Consigli was “highly recommended” by the Trustees of Reservations, owners of the Crane Estate.

BRIC members quickly reached consensus to approve the firm. Library Director Angela Mollet noted, “It’s been a really thorough process.” BRIC member and Library Trustee Sally Swift praised the bidding specifications drawn up with the help of Lerner, Ladds and Bartels, “We’ve wound up with the lowest bidder that’s also highly qualified.”


In addition, Fair presented five subcontractor bids for the roofing work and eight bids for the masonry. According to Library Trustee Chair Priscilla Stevens, two additional subcontractor bids had been rejected. One bid was dropped due to a lack of expertise in historical restorations, and a second was rejected because the application was incomplete. The subcontractor bids were opened in early August and results made available to the general contracting firms before they submitted their bids. The general contractor was allowed to either use the lowest subcontractor bid, or else specify a particular firm, with the subcontractor costs included in the general contractor bid.

Public bidding laws require that the town normally accept the lowest bid. However, in this case, the low bidder for the roofing, Murphy Specialty, Inc. of Hyde Park, was eliminated because the bid was conditional upon Murphy Specialty also winning the general contracting bid. Since Murphy’s general bid was over $100,000 higher than Consigli’s, the BRIC opted to use the second-lowest roofing subcontractor, Stanley Roofing, whose bid was only $4,000 higher than Murphy’s. Consigli agreed to work with Stanley Roofing with the $4,000 difference added into the general contractor bid. The masonry subcontractor will be Riggs Contracting, Inc. of Milford.

Work to begin

Prior to BRIC and Trustee approval, a draft contract had been drawn up for the modified bid and sent for review to Mollet, Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie, Town Counsel and Consigli Construction. When the contractor quickly signed and returned the contract, BRIC member Neal Emmer noted,“They’re ready to go.”

A preconstruction meeting was held Wednesday, September 9, when the Town Accountant, Police and Fire Chiefs, DPW Supervisor and Building Inspector as well as representatives of the BRIC and library staff were invited to meet with the contractors. Topics of discussion included construction scheduling and site access.

A goal is to minimize disruption to library services during the project, however, portions of the property will need to be roped off while work is in progress. Stevens expects access to the front lawn will be limited while the foundation and masonry is repaired. In addition, the Hollis Room will be closed to large groups during the time when the staff room is being repaired and the staff move temporarily to the Hollis Room. There may also be a few days where the entire library must be closed for a few hours. Stevens says library patrons will be given notice of access restrictions via the Mosquito, the library web site,, and by notices posted in the library.

According to Stevens, Bob Bissanti, construction supervisor for Consigli, expects scaffolding will be up by the end of next week. Stevens said the contract calls for work to be completed within 90 days and said the project should be finished “before the snow flies.” ∆

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