PALMER — The Mat-Su Borough Assembly passed Action Memorandum 21-048 during their consent agenda in their continuing effort to rebuild Houston Middle School which was critically damaged during the November 2018 earthquake. Following an agreement with the Mat-Su Borough School District School Board for an additional $6 million to fully fund the project, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has recently come through with their decision to provide further funding for reconstruction.
AM 21-048 includes a contract with Roger Hickel Contracting for $33,270,169 for the construction of a 93,000 square foot school with an administrative and academic wings, gymnasium and technical career space. Hickel was the lowest responding bid to the solicitation request issued on April 2 by the Mat-Su Borough to qualified contractors. During Borough Attorney Nick Spiropolous’ report, he detailed that the process could be further delayed, if only slightly.
“There was a bid protest filed as is allowed under our code. It was filed late last week so currently the record is being prepared. The record is due to the clerk’s office Thursday, at which point the office of administrative hearings will schedule a hearing and hear the basis of the bid protest,” said Spiropolous. “I bring that up because under borough code, only two people can bind the borough in contract and that is the Manager and the purchasing officer. However, before signing a contract over $100,000 in value they need Assembly approval before signing that contract, so the recommendation tonight is that you approve the AM that is before you to allow the ability to sign the contract, but it’s not actually going to be signed or executed until after the office of administrative hearings hearing has run its course.”
Spiropolous said that if the purchasing officer upholds the decision, passage of the AM would allow for the contract to be signed quickly. If the contract is not upheld, the process could be further delayed.