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Barton Community College trustees go local with dorm bid
Refinance saves over $300,000
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A local company was awarded the contract to build a $4.2 million, 172-bed dormitory for Barton Community College. BCC trustees on Thursday chose C.V. Cale Construction, Great Bend, over two lower bidders from other parts of the state.
Dean of Administration Mark Dean reviewed the initial bids, and bid  deductions made after conversations with each contractor. Items such as subcontractor selection, time required for the job and material suppliers were all questioned, Dean said. The lowest bid came from Columbus-based Crossland Construction. Its initial bid was $4,156,000 and after deductions it was $4,104,000. Wiens Construction, based in Hutchinson, had the next lowest bid, starting at $4,202,000 and coming down to $4,179,000. C.V. Cale’s initial bid was $4,338,764 but was reduced to $4,236,187. That still put it $132,187 above Crossland’s bid. However, trustees noted the difference is 3.8 percent and college policy allows local venders to be considered for contracts if they are within 5 percent of the low bid.
Dean recommended Crossland, and Barton President Dr. Carl Heilman said that was also his recommendation. Among other considerations, Crossland said it would complete the project in 270 days after the starting date of May 6. C.V. Cale said it would complete the project within 457 days (15.5 months) of being notified it had the contract.
Board President Mike Johnson said Dean’s recommendation was based on the best interest of the college, but trustees shared reasons they preferred a local company. Johnson was more concerned about the new building not being ready before the 2014-15 school year.
“I think one of the issues we have here is the time frame,” Johnson said. “I spoke with him (Cale) today and sent e-mails to trustees. He feels he could do it in a 13-month time frame.”
Trustee Robert Feldt said the C.V. Cale bid was within 5 percent of the low bid. “I think it is the policy of this board to try to (use) a local contractor and keep the business in the community.”
Trustee Don Learned said he supported the local bid, after discussion with Cale. “I got a call from Mr. Cale and sent you, Mr. Chairman, an e-mail.”
Trustee John Mosier added, “I would support a local bid over the low bid.”
Trustee Mike Minton said he also supported the local bid, because it would mean local subcontractors, and materials would be purchased locally when possible. With trustee Brett Middleton giving his vote over the telephone, the vote was unanimous.
The new dormitory will allow the college to phase out dorms built in 1977. Bonds for the project will be paid using students’ rent fees.
In a related item, the board approved financing the project and refinancing outstanding debt on the 1999 dorm at the same time. Noting the bids came in under the $4.5 million estimated for construction, the board approved financing the full $4.5 million at 3.35 percent interest, which will allow the college to pay for security cameras, phone and Internet access,  energy management components and furniture. Payoff will be in 25 years for the new building, and payoff for the 1999 building is unchanged, ending in 2029.
The old interest rate for the current lease on the dorm is 4.37 percent, and the new rate for that loan will be 2.55 percent. Combining the two loans results in a $35,000 savings, and the approximate savings over the term of loan due to refinancing is $314,859.
In other business, the trustees approved faculty contracts for 2013-14, the latest eduKan audit, and a plan to offer a certificate program in Entrepreneurship. The certificate proposal now goes to the Kansas Board of Regents. They also hired Lucas Stoelting as a campus security officer.
Following a 45-minute executive session for discussion of personnel matters, Johnson commented, “We did discuss a number of personnel issues, and reviewed Dr. Heilman’s evaluation. It is the consensus of the trustees he is doing an excellent job for the institution.”