By MATTHEW UMSTEAD
6:56 PM EDT, April 3, 2012
The Berkeley County Parks & Recreation Board in a meeting Tuesday voted to accept a contractor’s $2.1 million bid to build the South Berkeley Recreation Center.
The project was awarded to W. Harley Miller Contractors Inc., of Martinsburg, which submitted the second- lowest base bid for the project on the Musselman High School campus in Inwood, W.Va.
The lowest bid was submitted by Roy C. Kline Contractors of Smithsburg, but officials determined that the company failed to attend a mandatory prebid meeting about the project, Parks & Recreation Board Executive Director R. Stephen Catlett told board members.
The meeting Tuesday was prompted by the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation’s vote last week to approve an additional $600,000 for the project.
The funding commitment was made possible by the W. Randy Smith donor-advised fund and was added to $1.5 million that Smith previously committed for the project last year.
Smith established the fund with the foundation after winning a $79 million Powerball jackpot in 2010.
Even with Smith’s two contributions, Catlett said an additional $59,000 still needs to be raised to fully fund the project’s base bid and the board is still hoping to net state funding.
“We’re in the process of trying to sell sponsorships (in the new facility),” Catlett told board members.
While $20,000 has been raised so far, the goal is to sell about $90,000 worth, Catlett said.
As designed by Vienna, Va.-based Helbing Lipp Ltd., the 18,200-square-foot building would house two gymnasiums, and includes areas for restrooms, concessions, staff and storage.
Bids by 11 contractors were opened for the project on Jan. 31 with the expectation that the recreation center could be completed before the end of the year. Roy C. Kline’s bid was $2,118,335 and W. Harley Miller’s bid was $2,159,000.
Catlett said the timeline for completion will be revisited, given the delay in trying to locate funding, but he still hopes to be able to occupy the building by winter “if at all possible.”
Catlett said he is still pressing state officials for funding.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin said in an interview last week in Martinsburg that he would make an announcement “soon” concerning a portion of funding for the project. Tomblin declined to specify the grant amount.
Senate Majority Leader John Unger, D-Berkeley/Jefferson, who Catlett has asked for help, said Tuesday he has talked with Tomblin several times about the project and requested funds from the governor’s civil contingency fund. The project previously was awarded $75,000 in state money, which was put toward architecture design and planning costs.
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