Bridgehampton Construction Bids Opened

The Bridgehampton School District closed bidding on its school renovation and expansion project on Tuesday with no unwelcome surprises. It was the third round of bidding after the first two rounds, in summer, came back 25 percent higher than expected and the district went back to voters for an additional $4.74 million in September. The school board expects to award contracts next week, the first step toward breaking ground on the $29.4 million project as soon as late November.

The bids were immediately opened on Tuesday for all four aspects of the project — general contractor, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning. They came in within budget, allowing the district’s architect, John A. Grillo, and its construction management company, School Construction Consultants, to move on to making the recommendations they will deliver to the school board.

“I believe we had a total of 20-plus bids, and it looks like we’ve identified the four contractors,” Robert Hauser, the district’s superintendent, said Tuesday night. “If we vote to approve at that Oct. 17 meeting, we would expect the contractor to at least start mobilizing to start doing the work within 30 days — so, before Thanksgiving.” 

Mr. Hauser said numerous details, such as the order in which the various contractors will do their work, have to be worked out. Adjusting to the disruptions the work will create between now and the summer of 2020, when the district is hoping the project will be finished, will also be necessary.

“There’s going to be some inconveniences, and it’s going to be logistically challenging for the staff, for the students, for anybody who has got to access the back grounds at the school,” Mr. Hauser said. “I’m even concerned about our neighbors, because of the dust and the noise. We’re going to have to open up a dialogue with them.”

When the project is complete, the school will have geothermal heating and new science, technology, English, math, and music rooms, as well as a new regulation-size gym, locker rooms, and cafeteria. Part of the current gym will become an auditorium and the remainder a new school library. The school will also be able to move its prekindergarten out of 40-year-old modular classrooms on the west side of the school into the main building. 

At last month’s school board meeting, Ron White and Douglas DeGroot, members of the board, said they would like to examine expanding programs and even hiring more teachers once the badly needed added space is available.