FARMINGTON -- The cost behind the proposed Davis County campus renovation jumped up after officials discovered the two lowest bids submitted for the project contained contractor errors that could not be overcome by the builders.
Davis County Planning Director Barry Burton, the county's project manager for the campus renovation, said in his years with the county this is the first time he has seen the two lowest submitted bids contain contractor errors.
"We had some good bids come in, a little too good," Burton said of the Dec. 17 bid opening that revealed one bid coming in as low as $15.4 million.
As a result, on Tuesday the Davis County Commission awarded the project to Wadman Corporation. The Ogden-based builder submitted a bid of $16,788,000, the third-lowest bid initially received for the project.
The project, consisting of a new library, a children's justice center and a three-story administrative office, is part of the county's plan to overhaul the campus surrounding the Memorial Courthouse in downtown Farmington at 28 E. State St.
The administrative office building will be 90,000 square feet, sharing meeting space with a new 18,000-square-foot library, Burton said. The children's justice center, to be built immediately east of where the current center is, at 125 S. Main in Farmington, will be 9,400 square feet, of which 6,500 square feet will be finished space, he said.
Because the change in the outcome of the bids forced the overall cost of the project upward, it is likely the county will have to turn to its capital fund in covering the cost of the furniture, fixtures and equipment and any cost-overrun contingency, County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said.
But the construction of the project, Rawlings said, is right within the $19.6 million the county has bonded for to see it through.
In addition, on Tuesday the county approved a $4,600 contract with Gordon Spilker Huber Geotechnical Consultants to update an existing geotechnical investigation and report for where the Davis campus is to be built.
Burton said the report needs updating because the scope of the project changed since the last report was done, when only a new library was being considered.
"I'm excited to see us at this point," County Commissioner Bret Millburn said.
Millburn said he anticipates a contract to come forward at Tuesday's commission meeting for work to begin.
The project also includes the demolition of the existing Children's Justice Center, the Environmental Health Building, the Health Annex and Farmington library, all currently on the county campus.
Burton said the construction period for the three new buildings will take anywhere from 16 to 18 months to complete, while the entire project, including landscaping and parking, will take somewhere between 20 and 22 months to complete.
Millburn has referred to the project, with an anticipated completion date of spring 2012, as a "historic undertaking."