First fairground bids come in low

Contractors who bid on the first phase of the new Canadian County Fairgrounds project watch the bid opening Monday. Photo / Chris Eversole

The Canadian County commissioners opened bids Monday for the first phase of construction on the new county fairgrounds.
The commissioners met as the Canadian County Public Facilities Authority, an entity that is building the fairgrounds, with an audience of more than a dozen representatives of contractors present.
Chairman Marc Hader opened the meeting promptly at 8:30 a.m., and he adjourned it at 8:46 a.m.
The construction manager for the project, Lingo Construction Services, conducted the bid opening in the commission chambers of the county administration building.
Stan Lingo, who owns the construction management company, said after the meeting that he was pleased with the bids.
“It’s a good bid climate, and we feel good about the numbers we received,” he said.
The company will analyze the bids and bring back recommendation to Monday’s Public Facilities Authority meeting, he said.
The earthwork and building the shell of the expo center represent 20% to 25% of the cost of the fairgrounds, which has a $15.8 million budget, Lingo said.
There is no target date a groundbreaking on the fairgrounds, he said.
District 2 Commissioner David Anderson said this first set of bids are important.
“They’re going to tell us a lot about how much we’re going to have to spend overall,” he said.
The county will advertise for bids on most of the balance of the work on the fairgrounds, including finishing the expo center, in one or two months, Anderson said.

THE BIDS
The bids opened Monday were for earthwork and construction of the shell of the expo center at the fairgrounds.
For the earthwork, nine contractors submitted bids on the base package and five alternate items.
The bids on the base package varied from a low of $498,000 from Hammer Construction to a high of $989,916 from Silver Star Construction.
Next came bids on three options for the metal building that will serve as the expo center:
• Supplying the material only
• Erecting the metal only
• Both supplying and erecting the metal
Two companies bid on supplying the material only, one on erecting the metal only and two on the combination of supply and erecting the metal.
On first glance, the two best options were – without taking into consideration the four alternates on the building.
• Red Dot Buildings, materials and erection – $1.88 million
• Red Dot providing the material for $1.09 million and Moorehead Construction erecting it — $1.72 million

PROJECT DETAILS
The proposed fairgrounds will include the expo center and a maintenance building.
Canadian County is modeling its new fairgrounds on the Grady County Fairgrounds in Chickasha, which is relatively new and has been successful in attracting new events to the community, Anderson said.
The new fairground will be built on 50 acres of land located just east of the El Reno city limits at the intersection of Jensen Road and Alfadale Road. It is just east of U.S. 81 and south of Interstate 40.
The facility will replace the current fairgrounds, which have been on the same property since the mid-1950s.
The current location, which is about 14 acres, is land-locked and considered too small for the fairgrounds to expand enough to offer the types of events that draw large crowds, the commissioners have said.

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