Construction bid approved for North Stonington Center for Emergency Services

North Stonington — After being forced to stall for more than a year and a half because of higher-than-expected costs, construction on the town's emergency services building is back on schedule after the selectmen voted to approve a construction bid at their Tuesday meeting.

Newington-based Enterprise Builders Inc. submitted the winning $4.2 million bid to serve as the general contractor for the roughly 13,000-square-foot building.

Ryan Burdick, chairman of the Emergency Services Building Committee and a member of the fire company, said it was "a much-needed win for the volunteers in the town."

"We're still holding back our excitement until we see shovels going in the ground," he said. "But it definitely is a positive."

The building committee deliberated on Monday night after conducting a review with Capitol Region Education Council, which has been chosen as the project manager, to ensure that each of the bids reflected the project plans. Ultimately, Burdick said, the committee decided to forward the lowest two bids to the Board of Selectmen.

The lowest bid came from Lawrence Brunoli Inc., a Farmington contractor, which bid $43,000 less than Enterprise Builders. However, the selectmen, after a short executive session, approved the bid from Enterprise Builders.

"We reviewed evaluations of the lowest bidder (and) made determinations to pass over that one," First Selectman Shawn Murphy said.

Once a contract is signed, Enterprise said in its bid that it could begin construction immediately and complete the project within 308 days. A representative from Enterprise Builders did not respond to a request for comment.

With the site already cleared, two sets of architectural plans submitted and paid for, and associated administrative costs, Murphy said the total amount left in the budget for construction still needs to be calculated. The town also will be getting short-term financing later than expected, which means with inflation that costs have increased since planning for the project began.

However, he said that the project was "within budget for awarding this contract."

He credited CREC and the building committee, downsized after voters failed to approve $2.24 million to cover higher bids in August 2015, with bringing the project within budget. Members of the committee had been readying the bid package since fall.

Enterprise Builders previously has worked on the $18 million Charter Oak Headquarters project and the expansion and redesign of the Lyme Town Hall and library.

n.lynch@theday.com

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