County Took High Bid On Library, Senior Center Project - Southern Maryland Headline News

County Took High Bid On Library, Senior Center Project

County has history of paying top dollar on this project, starting with land acquisition

County Times Newspapers

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Sept. 12, 2016)—When the county approved the architecture and engineering proposal for the new library and senior center project in Leonardtown, it agreed to pay an extra $300,000 over the low bid when it gave the contract to the design firm Grimm and Parker.

The County Times found, after requesting information from the county on other bidders for the project, that the local government chose the high bid for the project.

Grimm and Parker, with offices in Baltimore and Calverton, bid $1.67 million to come up with an architectural and engineering plan, while the low bidder, Manns Woodward Studios, Inc., based in White Marsh, came in at a bid of $1.39 million.

Lukemire Partnership, based in Arlington, Va. and Rockville, offered a lower bid as well at $1.62 million.

The process by which the county selected the vendor for this project was a scorecard method on each of the proposals provided by the bidders, said Brandon Hayden, procurement manager for county government.

Three department heads; public works, aging and the library system, looked at several different aspects of the proposals for design of the joint building, which is to be located on the Hayden Property on Hollywood Road, including the technical proficiency and experience of the bidders to fulfill the county's desire for a modern, state-of-the-art design.

Michael Blackwell, the current director of the county library system, said the choice to take the high bidder in this project was the logical choice.

"Grimm and Parker had more experience on dual projects like this," Blackwell said, adding that they also had more experience with "cutting edge, interesting designs."

The county's request for qualifications (RFQ), issued last year, states that the county wants the dual facility to be 48,000 square feet in size, with 30,000 square feet set aside for the library and the remainder for the senior center.

Both facilities would have the capacity to expand to 45,000 and 25,000 square feet, respectively under the county's proposal.

The county's proposal shows that it expects the new library to be filled with modern features to include public internet use in areas for children, teens and adults, meeting rooms, technology and maker projects and an area that houses computer space to be used as a classroom area.

The senior center is similarly planned, according to the proposal, and should include space for programs and activities as well as an internet café and computer lab, dining space and commercial kitchen.

The total cost budget for the construction of the joint building is about $14 million.

The bid tally sheet for the proposal had Grimm and Parker scored at an average of 89.67 on a 100 point scale, with Manns Woodward Studios, Inc. earning 77 points.

Lukemire Partnership earned just 70 points.

Public works chief George Erichsen, Department of Aging and Human Services Director Lori Jennings-Harris and then the acting library system head Mary Anne Brown made the selections.

"Our policies were followed 100 percent," Hayden said.

Hayden was not in the position he currently holds when the Grimm and Parker bid was approved, he said.

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