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Barrack bids under budget

project will be expanded, rebid

November 23, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Bids for a new Maryland State Police barrack off Sharpsburg Pike came in millions of dollars under budget, but the work isn't moving ahead yet.

The project is being rebid late in the winter to add another component, a disaster recovery data center, said Bill Ebare, capital projects officer for the state police.

Legislative auditors have cited state police for not having a real-time working data system mirroring the operations at the Pikesville headquarters, Ebare said.

Even with the new piece, though, the project is expected to cost less than the $15 million budget, he said.

State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said 15 bids were submitted, but six didn't meet state Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program requirements and were eliminated.

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The other nine bids were in the range of $10 million to $12 million, she said.

Del. LeRoy E. Myers Jr., R-Washington/Allegany, said his company, Myers Building Systems, was around the fourth- or fifth-lowest bidder.

He said he understood the project would be rebid because the lower bidders, including his company, didn't meet state MBE requirements.

Myers said his company is allowed to bid on a state project, but he can't be involved in the bidding or negotiating, according to advice from William G. Somerville, the ethics counsel to the Maryland General Assembly.

Myers said his company will try again when the project is rebid.

The 9,200-square-foot state police barrack on the edge of Hagerstown is more than 35 years old. The plan is to replace it with a new 11,750-square-foot barrack.

The new barrack will anchor a two-story building with 25,755 square feet, split between the two floors, Ebare said.

There also will be a new 5,000-square-foot garage, with an extra bay to house a bomb squad trailer that has been kept at a volunteer fire hall.

The main building will have a training classroom and a forensics lab, and the state fire marshal's office will move there from a rented storefront on Jonathan Street.

Gasoline tanks will be converted from underground to above ground, Ebare said.

Money for a new state police barrack has been cut from recent state capital budgets, but it survived during the last Maryland General Assembly session.

Ebare said $10.05 million is in the current budget, for fiscal year 2010, and another $5 million has been committed for fiscal year 2011, although the amount could be adjusted depending on the final costs.

Lt. David Kloos, the barrack commander, has said the construction probably will take 20 to 24 months.

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