By Michelle Price
UCBJ Managing Editor
COOKEVILLE – After voting in February to utilize a design-build process for the construction of a new 39,618-square-foot police station to be located on Neal Street, the city of Cookeville is now advertising for bids from prequalified licensed general contractors to help complete the final design and budget for the project. Bids will be accepted until 4 p.m. on Thursday, August 1.
Upon opening the bids in August, the city will be able to select the lowest and best qualifying bid for its prime contractor, who will be asked to work closely with the architects throughout the remainder of the design phase. After design is completed, the project will be bid out to subcontractors who will complete the project.
Architect Peter Metts, president of American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Cookeville, explained the benefits of this construction method to city council members at the February meeting.
“It’s a great advantage for everyone involved,” said Metts. “Number one, it helps everyone keep the budget in check. Another added benefit is that the general contractor is involved at an early stage of the project and not just four weeks prior to construction.
“So, for six months he will be able to evaluate the project with us and by the time we get to competitive bidding and subcontracts, he’s likely to know the construction project better than any of us, including us (the architect). Which is what we want,” explained Metts. “We want him to know where the pitfalls are and where coordinating items are critical. We want him to know that backwards and forwards.”
This bridged method of construction design build has previously been successful for the county in the construction of the EMS, election commission and health department buildings. According to Metts, when the county bid that project, it came in considerably under budget and the county was able to furnish the project with the savings. Additionally, there were zero change orders initiated by the contractor on a $15 million dollar project.