Whitehall can proceed with the demolition of the former U.S. Army Reserve Center on Country Club Road after the latest bid for the job was within the allowable range of the estimated cost.

Whitehall can proceed with the demolition of the former U.S. Army Reserve Center on Country Club Road after the latest bid for the job was within the allowable range of the estimated cost.

The city opened bids Friday, June 17, and S.G. Lowendick & Sons Inc. was the low bidder at $373,784, Parks and Recreation Director Steve Carr said Monday, June 20.

Carr said he expects preparation for demolition to begin in seven to 10 days. The city plans to build soccer fields at the site.

Last week's bid was one of two the city received when it was required to rebid the demolition project.

In April, Whitehall received but one bid for the project, from the same company, for $376,784.

Both estimates include the demolition of the building, the relocation of utilities and asbestos abatement.

The previous bid could not be awarded because it too greatly exceeded the estimate of $284,350 for the project, rendered by the engineering firm of EMH&T.

The revised estimate for the project rebid in June was $380,000, also rendered by EMH&T.

State law prohibits municipalities from awarding contracts that exceed estimates by greater than 10 percent. The lone bid received in April exceeded the estimate by 32.5 percent.

It was another example, Carr said in April, of increasing demand for materials and manpower in an increasingly robust construction climate.

Construction of the city's splash pad also has been set back because all three bids the city received in March exceeded the estimate by greater than 10 percent, requiring the city to reassess and rebid the project.

The original estimate to build the splash pad, prepared by Cincinnati-based MSA Sports Architects, was $910,000.

The lowest of three bids received, from Setterlin Building Co., was almost $1.24 million, or about 36 percent in excess of the bid.

The Whitehall Parks and Recreation Commission is scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Thursday, June 23, to discuss the splash pad.

"I've asked for an update from our design team" to be presented at the commission meeting, Carr said June 17.

The city has appropriated an additional $200,000 toward the project and also identified a way to reduce its cost by about $100,000, Carr said.

He said the city has negotiated a turn-key proposal with Vortex, the manufacturer of the splash pad, to also provide and install the required support infrastructure, shaving about $100,000 from the cost.

Under the original proposal, Vortex was to install only the splash pad while the city contracted separately for a water-management system that includes a surge tank and water-filtering system.

The scope of the revised project has changed and the new budget is expected to align with a revised estimate, Carr said.