Ocean City Today

Second Street Public Works Complex delayed

By Greg Ellison | Mar 01, 2018

(March 2, 2018) Fearful pricing could run higher than anticipated, Ocean City Public Works Director Hal Adkins on Tuesday asked the City Council for more time to solicit bids for the Second Street Public Works Complex project.

“The last time we discussed the project we postponed the anticipated construction commencement date to be September 4,” he said at the council work session.

Adkins and Dan Dashiell, senior project manager, contracted with Westminster-based Morgan Design Group to develop plans for a roughly 19,500-square-foot building with 31 parking spaces on a 35,500-square-foot lot on St. Louis Avenue, between Second and Third streets, that the city acquired last year for parking.

By delaying the start of construction until after Sept. 3, Adkins told the City Council in early January it could save approximately $75,000 to replace tennis courts on Third Street, which were built with Maryland Project Open Space funds. This September a 20-year agreement with the state mandating relocation of the courts expires.

In January, Adkins estimated delaying the project until after summer would allow the city to collect an estimated $35,000 in parking revenue at the Second Street location.

“By doing so, it created a large buffer of time for me to put the bid back out … to position the project to grow out of the ground in September,” he said.

Although project bids were scheduled to be opened this week, Adkins said based on conversations with numerous construction industry contacts, it became apparent the market is “red hot,” at the moment.

“I have a sinking feeling that the pricing that would come in would be ridiculous,” he said.

In some cases, Adkins said recent project bids have been two to three times over estimates.

To remedy the pricing concern, Adkins suggested restructuring the project bid documents to create a design-build bid.

“I would stick with my same floor plan, because the floor plan is what’s going to work well, [and] I would stick with the same site plan,” he said. “It gives the bidder the flexibility with their own team to put together a submission, which I feel would drive the potential pricing down.”

The process may alter the architectural appearance, which Adkins said would require City Council approval.

“I envision being back before the council with a bid opening probably the first meeting in May,” he said.

Despite the delay, if the revised timelines are met, Adkins said the project could still launch in September.

“It’s unfortunate, but fortunately we have the time built into the project to be able to do it,” he said.

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