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County may change project, seek more bids

Profile image for By Bj Lewis
By Bj Lewis

Denton County commissioners are going back to the drawing board for improvements to the juvenile probation building.

After receiving only two bids to improve the Charlie J. Cole Building, one of which was not a complete bid and the other way over budget, officials are looking at retooling the project scope and going out for bids again.

“We might break it up depending on how the bids come on board,” said Mike Tubiolo, construction manager for Denton County. “If we break it up, we may be able to get a specialized group to do each part instead of one large contractor.”

Tubiolo said that while the final decision has not been made, he knows the $760,650 cost needs to be reduced.

The project is being paid for with funds from the 2010 permanent improvement bonds and excess funds from the juvenile probation and detention facility project that is finishing up now.

Beth Fleming, purchasing director, said that the project called for added beds and administrative space to the existing juvenile building. Officials are set to move in a couple of weeks.

The scope of work on the Cole building includes updating the fire-alarm system. Tubiolo said it still works, but is old and maintenance parts are becoming harder to find and more expensive. Also, the security system, while it still works, it is an older system and Tubiolo said he wants to tie it in with the new system in the new juvenile probation building.

“It’s not a security problem [now], but it would be nice to have it on one system,” he said.

California-based Kratos Public Safety and Security Solutions’ bid came in just under $200,000, but it was not for the entire project. Tubiolo said the firm left out bidding on security electronics, fire alarm and door hardware.

The bid of Addison-based Ratcliff Constructors was a little more than $1.2 million, way over the budgeted amount.

Tubilo said he expects the project to be back before the Commissioners Court with changes made, in a few weeks.

“There is no immediate need, but we’re not going to wait for it,” he said. “We’re going to get it done.”