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NCI opens building bids
Lowest bid of $13.28M from N.C. contractor
New College Institute Executive Director William C. Wampler Jr. (left) and Larry Hasson, an architect with the architectural firm Dewberry of Danville, discuss bids that were opened for NCI’s building project on Baldwin Block on Tuesday. (Bulletin photo)
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
By GINNY WRAY - Bulletin Staff Writer
New Atlantic Contracting Inc. of Winston-Salem, N.C., submitted the apparent low bid of $13,289,000 to construct a new building for the New College Institute (NCI) in uptown Martinsville.
It will be the first building constructed specifically for the institute.
New Atlantic’s bid was among eight opened Tuesday at NCI. Bids ranged from New Atlantic’s price to as much as $14,047,000.
New Atlantic’s bid will be reviewed by the New College Foundation’s architectural firm, Dewberry of Danville, to make sure it complies with the specifications of the three-story, 50,000-square-foot building, according to Larry Hasson, an architect with Dewberry who opened the bids.
Hasson called it “impressive” that there was little variation between most of the bids.
If the bid passes the review, the New College Foundation will award the construction contract to New Atlantic in the near future, according to an NCI release.
NCI Executive Director William C. Wampler Jr. said he believes that by April 1, preliminary work on the Baldwin Block site of the building will be completed and the property will be turned over to the contractor to start work.
Wampler said he had hoped the bids would be between $12 million and $13 million, even though the earlier estimate of construction costs was $15 million.
“We’ll make it work,” he said, adding, “We still have to raise more money.” He would not say how much has been raised toward the new facility, saying some of that information will be released after the contract is awarded.
New Atlantic’s president/chief operating officer is John R. “Ricky” Adkins, the son of John and Christine Adkins of Collinsville. He is a 1984 graduate of Fieldale-Collinsville High School and a 1988 graduate of Virginia Tech, according to his father.
“We are general contractors and construction managers for complex and unique building construction projects. Our market includes institutional, educational, industrial, energy, medical, religious, and housing environments,” New Atlantic states on its website.
According to the website, the company has worked on construction projects at the University of North Carolina and N.C. State as well as Western Carolina University and the SEnTeC-Sustainable Energy Technology Center in Danville.
It also is performing site preparation, construction and minimal renovations of a 31,760-square-foot, two-story Meadows of Dan Elementary School building after the original building was destroyed by a fire in August 2012.
Seventeen general contractors responded to the initial advertisement for bids for the NCI building, Wampler said. Of those, 12 were deemed prequalified, meaning they had the financial ability to do the project, had done similar projects and met other criteria, Wampler said.
Eight of the 12 contractors attended a mandatory prebid conference, he added.
“We were delighted to receive so many competitive bids,” Wampler stated. “The New College Foundation was guided by the Virginia Procurement Act so as to maximize participation in the bidding process and receive competitive pricing for the construction of the building.”
The new building will house academic programs being created in advanced manufacturing, entrepreneurism and health care.
The Harvest Foundation has pledged up to $8 million toward construction, the Virginia Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission is contributing $5 million and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded $500,000 for the project.
Wampler said he also anticipates receiving public grants for the construction.
Private donations also are sought through the New College Foundation.