Bids come in under budget for WCU’s Regional Laborforce Development Center

Western Carolina University’s planned Regional Laborforce Development Center cleared a major hurdle Wednesday, February 28 when bids for construction came in about $904,000 under the total construction funds available.

The 28,000-square-foot high-technology training facility is to be built and equipped with $6 million in federal funds secured over the past few years with the support of U.S. Rep. Charles Taylor. The building will be constructed between the existing Belk Building and E.J. Whitmire Stadium on WCU’s Cullowhee campus. It will include digital video, digital sound recording and media production programs. Also included will be applied engineering facilities and laboratories for technology-based manufacturing, three-dimensional epoxy laser modeling, information network design facilities, and a center for professional selling.

The apparent lowest bids on the project, including the general contract, plumbing, mechanical and electrical work, totaled $4,453,200. WCU has $5,357,080 available for construction and furnishings, said Andy Comrie, director of the university’s Physical Plant.

H&M Constructors of Asheville was the apparent low bidder for the general contract, with a bid of $3,206,000, including five of seven alternates. Other bidders on the general contract, including the same five alternates, were Monteith Construction Corp. of Monroe, $3,379,500; and Western Builders of Sylva Inc., $3,820,000.

The apparent low bidder on electrical work, including three of three alternates, was Haynes Electric Construction Co. of Asheville, with a bid of $468,800. Other bidders on electrical work, including the three alternates, were Brevard Electric Co. of Horse Shoe, $529,320; and Hayes & Lunsford of Asheville, $530,800.

The apparent low bidder on mechanical (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) work, including two of two alternates, was Best Mechanical of Seneca, S.C., with a bid of $650,000. Others bidders on the mechanical work, including the two alternates, were Price & Price Mechanical of Arden, $661,900; Bolton Corp. of Asheville, $667,400; M.B. Haynes Corp. of Asheville, $716,773; Industrial Maintenance and Overflow Corp. of Fletcher, $787,500; and Martin Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. of Hendersonville, $820,417.

The apparent low bidder on plumbing was M.B. Haynes Corp., $128,400, with other bids received from Mountain Plumbing & Mechanical of Andrews, $132,800; Bolton Corp., $146,400; Price & Price Mechanical, $155,400; Industrial Maintenance and Overflow Corp., $161,700; and Best Mechanical, $183,000.

A single prime general construction bid of $4,787,550, covering general construction and plumbing, mechanical and electrical work and accepted alternates, was received from Monteith Construction Corp.

The building was designed by Jenkins-Peer Associates of Charlotte.

Construction on the Regional Laborforce Development Center is expected to get under way in mid- to late-April, Comrie said. The projected completion date is summer 2002.