Updated: $6.5M less for new library

An artist rendering shows the new library from Sixth Street.

Gilroy’s new library could cost 27 percent less than expected,
saving the city about $6.5 million, according to Gilroy
officials.

I’m happy as a clam,

Councilman Bob Dillon said Wednesday following the bidding
process at Gilroy City Council Chambers.
Gilroy’s new library could cost 27 percent less than expected, saving the city about $6.5 million, according to Gilroy officials.

“I’m happy as a clam,” Councilman Bob Dillon said Wednesday following the bidding process at Gilroy City Council Chambers.

Milpitas-based Devcon Construction placed a base bid of $17.26 million on the library project, nearly $6.5 million less than what engineers initially anticipated, according to a summary of the bids prepared by the City of Gilroy. The company also presented various add-ons that the city could approve – including photovoltaic panels, solar panel maintenance costs, floor moisture sealer and Rosanna Street parking improvements – that would increase the cost to $18.1 million.

Devcon’s previous projects include the San Jose Civic Center and corporate campuses for Cisco Systems and Yahoo!. It has also built a 185,000-square-foot library at Santa Clara University and renovated and expanded the McHenry Library at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The Santa Clara University library project is built to the highest environmental standards as certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System, a level that the city plans to achieve for its own library.

Five companies showed up to the council chambers Wednesday afternoon, although only four of them placed bids.

“They all have impeccable reputations,” Councilman Dion Bracco said.

All of the bids were within $1 million of each other, leading Bracco to believe they are fairly accurate, he said.

Devcon’s base bid came in at $71,556 less than the next lowest bid by Santa Clara-based Swinteron Builders. However, the two companies were $168,774 apart when including optional extras.

Daisy Pereira, a project executive for Devcon, said the company was happy to place the lowest bid.

“We’re excited about being the successful bidder,” she said. “It should be a fun job.”

Both Pereira and City Administrator Tom Haglund noted that the company has not been selected yet.

Haglund stressed that Devcon is the lowest “apparent” bidder, adding that all the company’s paperwork must be in order before the City Council can decide on the matter at its June 14 meeting.

Still, he was happy to see all the bids come well below the $23.7 million anticipated cost of the project, he said.

“I think we’re very excited to get started, to get the library under way,” Haglund said.

Dillon expected that the council would approve Devcon’s bid, as the city already has pre-qualified all of the potential contractors for the project. He said he also hopes to approve all of the project’s optional add-ons as the bids all came in so low.

Money for the library comes from a $37 million bond measure approved by voters in November 2008. Haglund said the city will try to time and price future bond sales related to the library to reflect the lower construction cost.

Demolition on the 12,500-square-foot former library building at 7387 Rosanna St. is well under way, and construction on a 53,500-square-foot, two-story permanent facility is slated to take place this summer. The new library is slated to open in early fall 2012. In the meantime, an interim facility remains open at 7652 Monterey St.

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