Bidding dispute stalls Gidley School demolition

Feb 15, 2017

The Gidley School demolition could face delays due to a conflict with project bids.

After receiving six bids for the project, officials awarded the contract to Southern Middlesex Industries, a company out of Norwood and the second lowest bidder, due to advice from the Attorney General's office. However the lowest bidder — Francesco Demolition, out of Duxbury — has filed protest with the AG's office, delaying the project.

Francesco Demolition had bid $346,000, while Southern Middlesex Industries offered to complete the project for $417,777.

"It appeared that his bid was based on his DCAMM limit [a rating set by the state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance] rather than the cost of the work," said Town Administrator David Cressman. Francesco Demolition's DCAMM limit is $350,000, but the project's estimated cost is $500,000, he added.

"Five other bidders submitted bids over $400,000. Our concern was that he would be awarded the project, but would then request change orders to reach the dollar value of the other bids," he said.

The hearing is scheduled for February 21 in Boston, but it is unclear whether a ruling will be made that day or not. Depending on the decision, there could be an appeal into the Commonwealth’s judicial system, said Cressman.

Project officials are unsure how much of a delay this would cause. However, they aim to have the final study and budget complete by February 22.

The Select Board and Finance Committee will continue project discussions on March 6.

The demolition will make way for the new police station at the school’s location.