On March 19, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved about $3.5 million in contracts for repairs and upgrades to four county buildings and four buildings at A-B Tech.
Commissioners granted James R. Vannoy & Sons Construction Company a $94,453 contract to serve as construction manager at risk for pre-construction services associated with improvements to the county courthouse, county administration building and detention center.
The board also approved a $246,245 engineering services contract with SKA Consulting Engineers, a company that the county says has previously been involved in exterior repairs to the courthouse.
At the courthouse, crews will replace bricks and conduct improvements to the building’s window seals, control joints and tuck points. Crews will also repair the administration building’s curtain wall and rework vertical expansion joints at the county detention center. The total project budget is about $6.6 million.
A separate $818,700 contract was awarded to H&M Constructors to renovate the building at 50 Coxe Ave., which isn’t currently being used, to provide a distribution center for the Board of Elections. Crews will upgrade the HVAC and electrical systems, replace the roof, repair the building exterior and provide office space and interior wall panels.
“Elections operations will be centralized into one location for warehousing and distribution to allow for more effective flow,” said interim General Services Director Pamela Freeman-King.
Vannoy also received a $2,356,838 contract to serve as construction manager at risk for improvements to four buildings at A-B Tech: the Birch Building, Coman Student Activity Center, Simpson Building and Locke Library.
Work will include upgrades to HVAC and electrical systems, roof replacement and exterior repairs. The work constitutes phase two of a series of capital projects on the A-B Tech campus; Vannoy worked on the first phase as well, which included renovations to portions of 11 buildings.
Shallow applicant pool
Freeman-King said Vannoy was the only construction management firm that applied to manage construction at A-B Tech and for the improvements to the courthouse, detention center and administration building. This lack of competition, she said, could be related to the surplus of construction work available to firms at this time of year.
Three other construction management firms did show up for a pre-application conference regarding the county projects, Freeman-King added, but only Vannoy submitted an application.
According to records published online with the agenda, one firm told the county they didn’t apply because the type of project didn’t fit into their area of expertise, and the other two said their current workload would make it difficult to set staff aside for the effort.
SKA Consulting Engineers was also the only firm to apply for the engineering services contract.