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Bids come in below cost estimate for civic center project

Original post made on Mar 2, 2019

Three out of four bids for the construction of a long-awaited new civic center in Atherton have come in below the estimated project cost of $48 million, according to a town email sent Wednesday, Feb. 27.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Saturday, March 2, 2019, 8:53 AM

Comments (7)

Posted by Bait and switch
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 11:59 am

This is a bait and switch. Wait and see.

Posted by P. Anders
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 2:23 pm

I'm very pleased to know that Atherton can now proceed with construction with this very qualified vendor. Very excited to see work begin and to walk through the completed buildings once they are complete.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 4:04 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Let the Change Orders flow. That 4.3 million that was "cut" will end up back in the final cost. There will be shortcomings in the plans and Amoroso will take full advantage of those.

Posted by Question
a resident of Atherton: other
on Mar 2, 2019 at 9:31 pm

Menlo Voter, are you staying there are known defects in the plan, or that's just the nature of large projects (there will always be grey areas, and a contractor who gets in with a low bid will find a way to make up the money? Makes senseā€¦and I wonder what the plan is, since I don't think the Town has the money to go any higher.

Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Mar 3, 2019 at 9:24 am

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.


there are ALWAYS defects and missing details in a set of complex construction documents. There will be conflicts between the architectural plans and structural plans. There will be unforseen conditions and a host of other things the construction documents are missing. And yes, the contractor that gets in with the low bid will find ways to make up what they left on the table.

The town will either have to find the money or start cutting other parts of the project. I will guarantee the cost is going to go higher. And if it runs true to most other public works projects it will end with claims and a law suit. Generally, these contracts are written such that if there is a disagreement as to whether or not something is an "extra" or change order, the contractor has to keep working and complete the contested work. They then file a claim for payment. Then the lawyers get involved at the end of the job.

I doubt the town has taken any of this into account when it figured what it could afford. No one should go into any kind of a construction project thinking it will come in on time or budget. Despite claims that they do, they don't. They claim they come in on time is because every change order includes added time to do the extra work. The project finishes later than promised, but with the added time from change orders, voila, they are on time.

Been there, done this.

Posted by TechStock
a resident of Atherton: West of Alameda
on Mar 4, 2019 at 1:30 pm

TechStock is a registered user.

Congratulations to the Town staff and to the Council for sharpening their pencils and figuring out a way to get this project started. There is a long road ahead before we have a new civic center, but at least we are moving forward now. Like P. Anders, I am looking forward to seeing construction get started . . . and looking forward even more to seeing construction end!

I do hope that the Town finds additional funding to renovate the Council Chambers. That work is needed, and it makes sense to do it while the rest of the construction is going on rather than immediately starting a new project after this project ends.

Posted by Ricki Shaw
a resident of Atherton: Lloyden Park
on Mar 4, 2019 at 4:23 pm

Menlo Voter, you are so smart and experienced, even prescient. Let's hope the Atherton Town Council reads this blog and sees your comments. I do so doubt that anyone on the staff or the council understands these concepts like you do.

At the same time, I really appreciate the positive comments from other readers. I think the Town Council was wise to cut out costs and now have an affordable solution. Nice job Town Council!

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