AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn High press box project continues to be stuck in mud after the sole bid was rejected on Wednesday, causing doubts that it’ll be built for the first football game in September.
Lange Design & Development’s bid of $59,000 was shot down by school business manager Daniel Deedy for not having the required forms in its application for the press box project.
“I do not see a certificate of non-collusion and good faith, I do not see a tax compliance certificate, I do not see a certificate of labor harmony, I do not see a reference form, I do not see a bid deposit of 5 percent,” Deedy said. “This is rejected. The information I was looking for is standard for a procurement like this.”
The general contractor was supposed to have these documents for the bid opening at 2 p.m., and Deedy said the school district cannot request these forms after the fact.
But Maryellen Brunelle, Superintendent of Public Schools, said she will contact the state’s attorney general’s office to ask if the school district can receive the missing documents after the bid opening.
“We’re going to find out from the attorney general whether we can grant him [the contractor] 24 hours, or 48 hours to submit the other required documents,” Brunelle said. “If they say yes, then we’ll have a potentially successful bidder.”
Brunelle said the project is “literally on the one-yard line.”
“Our goal is to get a press box built because once that’s up, for the next 20, 30, 50 years we’ll be able to publicize, on our local cable in a very professional manner, our students’ games and really highlight what our kids do,” Brunelle said.
This is the second failed press box bid opening in less than a month. The last time a bid opening was held, June 25, no bids were made and the project was pushed back to July 18 for a re-bid.
With the lone bid rejected on July 18, the school district will see if the attorney general’s office will give them an exception or its back to the drawing board, setting up another bid opening in the near future.
The Cable Committee has budgeted $70,000 for the project and it voted recently to pull its funding if the project was not completed with an occupancy permit for the first football game in September. Brunelle said she will be asking the committee for an extension to that date at its meeting Thursday night.
Joe Hamel, a member of the Cable Committee, said the committee will be discussing whether it will allow for an extension to the Sept. 5 deadline.
“We’re going to bat it off the walls tomorrow night,” Hamel said. “Enough is enough. It’s time to build it and get it up for that first game. It’s a two-week build, that’s all it is.”