Marshall engineering complex bids come in around $50 million
HUNTINGTON -- Six contractors submitted bids to build the new Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex at Marshall University, ranging from $47.75 million to more than $51 million.
Ron May, the director of Facilities Planning and Management, said the bids were higher than anticipated but didn't elaborate on a specific target figure. However, the job was advertised with a base proposal and 10 alternates which could be added if the budget allows.
The multi-story complex to be constructed along 3rd Avenue between the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories and the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center in Huntington had an estimated budget of $50 million.
The lowest bid came from BBL Carlton of Charleston at $47.75 million. Mascaro Construction of Pittsburgh came in at $48.729 million, and Hunt Construction Group of Indianapolis had a base bid of $49.7 million. The other three bids, from Hayslett Construction Company, Massaro Corporation and P.J. Dick, Inc., all came in above $50 million.
The new complex, which is expected to take at least two years to complete, will house six different academic components and programs, including the College of Information Technology and Engineering and its divisions of engineering, computer science, applied science and technology; Mechanical, Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering Research Laboratories; Departments of Mathematics and Computational Science; Computer Modeling and Digital Imaging/Simulation Resource Facility; Transportation Research Corporation; and the Marshall University Research Corp.
However, the labs and office space on the fourth floor for the research corporation were bid as an alternate project and may not be included. BBL Carlton listed the cost of that option as $1.469 million.
Other proposed alternates included a basic canopy to connect the current engineering lab to the new facility or an enclosed lobby that connects the two buildings; vegetated roof and pavers; amphitheater; and overhead crane for the advanced materials testing lab.
The budget for the project has three funding sources: $25 million from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, $13 million from the university's bond proceeds and a goal of $12 million in private donations. A large gift pledge in June from Arthur's Enterprises, a Huntington-based company owned by Art Weisberg, helped bring the private donations above the halfway mark, confirmed Matt Turner, Marshall's chief of staff.
May said the bid will officially be awarded once all the documents are certified. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Oct. 29.