County chooses Bloomington company with $2 million project bid

Bartholomew County will be going with a Bloomington company to complete a $2 million dollar upgrade to the county jail’s heating and cooling systems.

The County Commissioners chose Harrell-Fish of Bloomington for the project yesterday, and also authorized four alternates for the project that would bring the total cost of just under $2 million dollars. The most expensive of the alternates was a proposal to replace the boilers in the more recent jail expansion at a cost of about $74,000. The other alternates include temporary boiler connections, clean the administration area duct work and to provide HVAC building controls.

Josh Apling with DLZ Engineering said that the bids did come in higher than originally anticipated when the project was designed in December, but that it also tracks with the rising costs of other project bids in recent months. County Commissioner Tony London said that during the original planning, the county was expecting to pay $1.2 million for the work.

Commissioners received two quotes for the work, when they opened bids last week, with the second and more expensive coming from Dunlap and Co. of Columbus. The Harrell-Fish base bid was just over $1.86 million.

Commissioner Larry Kleinhenz said the county expects that the contractors will find difficulties during the work in the old and new sections of the jail. He warned that the project managers would need to keep an eye out for any expensive change orders during the project, that could push the price over the budgeted amount.

The project is estimated to take 9 to 10 months to complete. The county budgeted $1.3 million for the project to come from federal COVID-19 relief funds instead of the county general funds.