The BSA renovation: bids are in, but now what?

There’s always a first in journalism and today was my first look at a construction bid opening. That was the case at the NDSU Memorial Union with the Bison Sports Arena renovation. In short, I can tell you this: nobody really knew late this afternoon if the bids came in low enough and we may not know for at least another week.

Architect Terry Stroh of T.L. Stroh Architects and Interiors of Fargo spent an hour and a half reading sealed bids from construction, seating, mechanical and electrical companies. Before reading the first bid for the general contracting of the project, Stroh made it clear “that we won’t make any decisions today.” ”The firm will sift through a litany of alternate bids associated with each company’s dollar figure. For instance, certain segments of a bid contained deductions if the project needed to find a cost-containment measure.

“That’s something we do a lot of today,” Stroh said, “because it’s always difficult to guess at what if we did this or what if we did that? It’s always easier to make a decision if you have a number in front of you. A lot of times it’s a combination of ads and deducts.”

Gast Construction from Fargo had the low overall general contracting bid at $20.81 million. Hussey Seating from North Berwick, Maine had the low bid for seating at $1.498,600. Grants Mechanical of Fargo had the low bid for mechanical work at $6,991,631 and Rickard Electric from Fargo had the low electrical bid at $6.17 million.

The North Dakota legislature approved the project for $35.4 million. NDSU athletic director Gene Taylor said in July that if bids come in at over the amount, it may be back to the drawing board. After the bids were revealed Thursday, Taylor said he did not have enough information to make any kind of comment.

If the low bid from each of the four forks of the project were added up, it would come to slightly over $70,000 over of what the state legislature allotted. But there are several other factors that go into the bid process before any decision can be made, Stroh said.

11 thoughts on “The BSA renovation: bids are in, but now what?

  1. There was one alternate for a smaller generator that reduces the total amount by $1,147,000. A total of all of the alternates is around $3,000,000.

  2. Guy could almost build a whole new arena for not much more. These public buildings seem to be way over priced IMO.

    • Don’t forget the money to renovate the arena is a relatively small part of the overall cost. The BSA is much, much more than the arena. While it may only cost something like $35 million to build a decent 6000-seat arena, the cost of completely replacing the BSA could be in the $60-75 million neighborhood or possibly even more.

  3. If the legislature would have allowed less, then the bids would have come in less. BisonFan, you are correct. Contractors love public projects because they can profit easily. I have been involved in Bid processes and dealing with public and government bidding and it is a crap at best. So by Jeff’s calculations and bids accepted, it would also seem simple enough to have a 70-75,000 dollar capital drive to make up the bid overrun and start the project. This is what I mean about bidding process and bullsh– that goes with it. You cant tell me you would delay a project even more with a shortfall of 70 grand. You could pass the hat for 5 bucks a head at the Gameday party and you would have your shortfall covered. 15000 LOYAL and BIG fans times $5 each is hmmmm 75,000 dollars.

  4. Can we get a golden shovel on GAMEDAY set, have Tim miles Andy Katz and Saul Phillips put the first shovel in the ground?

    Ps great FBS article by chuck klosterman, if you are mountain west president watching espn GAMEDAY Saturday with 20,000 fans wouldn’t you say “why aren’t we offering an invite to these guys?”

    • No, you wouldn’t.

      - NDSU is not located in the Mountain or Western time zones
      - NDSU’s football stadium would by far be the smallest in the conference (Utah St is at about 25k)
      - NDSU’s market would not move the needle in any TV negotiations to increase the amount each school gets from the TV deal
      - the MWC already has 12 members, which is sufficient to have a conference championship game

      • Bingo. Too many people just look at this as “NDSU is really good so people will invite us!”. If it were that simple it would have happened.

    • Nit picking, but do you know Tim Miles is no longer involved with the program? And Klosterman is a UN_ grad. Don’t you see it’s an obvious setup?

  5. Basketball? What’s that?

    Signed Everyone Now and who won’t show up in Sioux Falls (sadly) come March.

  6. So the bids come in over by way less than 1%. In project of this maginute, there are many ways to get this project in line without going back to the legislature for more money. 1) Do some value engineering to figure out a way to reduce the cost without a change order to remove items. 2) Do a change order to remove some items. 3) if a construction loan is going to be used, talk with the financial institution to see if they would work a deal on a better interest rate 4) Talk to the contractors about the cost, they might be willing to work a deal so they can keep the project rolling. 5) See if NDSU can provide some sort of owner contribution(monetary or physical labor) to make up the difference. 6) maybe the architect would donate his time 7) How much of this was a built in contingency that can be lowered and just watch the budget closer…

    Many many ways to get this project in line.