Bidding and Negotiation
Our office is in the final stretch of bidding for the Museum of Transportation Visitor Center. We are working on behalf of the Transport Museum Association to construct the first phase of their new Visitor Center, officially known as the “William R and Laura Rand Orthwein Education Center”
There is an interesting history to this project. We first started working on this building in 1998 with the kickoff of the TMA’s capital campaign. 12 years later, we are close to actually starting construction. To continue a theme, the documents originally had a 2008 date, with an initial bid date about this time last year (2009). That bid was rejected due to problems with DBE participation. 12 months later, we are scheduled to receive bids November 30th. If all goes well, there will be a groundbreaking first quarter 2011. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
I was recently talking with Gerry Biedenstein from St. Louis County Parks. Gerry is a great guy – he has been shepherding this project much longer than I have! We were discussing the tons of bidder questions that inevitably arrive right before the final addendum is supposed to be sent out. I told Gerry that the last 2 years in the design and construction business have really softened me. I try my best to respond to everyone and answer their questions without being snarky about everything coming in at the last minute. All the subs and generals out there have to deal with the same things I do – trying to get a response from someone – trying hard to win a project. The least I can do is accommodate their requests as efficiently as possible, and always be courteous. Most questions are really helping me out anyway – much better to clear up something or fix a problem in the bid stage than with a change order!