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New round of police barrack bids are in

April 30, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- As plans for a new Maryland State Police barrack in Washington County expanded, so did the cost.

The state is replacing the current barrack off Sharpsburg Pike south of Hagerstown with a larger building that also will have other uses.

The low bid for the latest version of the project -- $10.1 million by Manekin Construction LLC of Columbia, Md. -- is about 13 percent more than the low bid for an earlier version last year.

But the latest low bid still is less than the amount budgeted for the project. So far, the state has set aside about $12.6 million.

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The current barrack is 9,200 square feet.

The new building would be 25,755 square feet, split between two floors, Bill Ebare, the capital projects officer for the state police, has said.

The new police barrack would take up 11,750 square feet.

The state put the project out to bid last year. Warner Construction's bid of $8.9 million was the lowest, according to a summary of vendor responses.

State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said in November that 15 bids were submitted, but six were eliminated for not meeting state Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) requirements.

The new building is scheduled to have a police barrack, a training classroom, a forensics lab and a state fire marshal's office. There will be a separate garage, where a bomb squad trailer will be kept.

When the initial bids were low, the state decided to add a disaster recovery data center, mirroring the operations at the Pikesville headquarters -- something legislative auditors said the state police needed, Ebare has said.

In the second round of bids, Manekin Construction was lowest at $10.1 million and Warner Construction was second at $10.6 million.

Manekin appears to meet the MBE requirements, said Bart Thomas, the acting assistant secretary in the state Department of General Services' Office of Facilities Planning.

The state requires that at least 25 percent of subcontract money go to MBE-certified businesses. The contractor cannot consider itself a subcontractor.

Manekin's estimate was 27.6 percent, Thomas said.

After reviewing all bid information, the Department of General Services will recommend a contract to the state Board of Public Works, possibly in late June or early July, Thomas said.

If the board approves the contract, work can begin. Thomas said the project could be completed by February or March.

Last year, the state figured on having about $15 million for the project.

The current state budget has $10.05 million for the barrack building. Legislators agreed this month to include $2.525 million in the 2010-11 budget.

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