Contractors putting together bid packages to restart stalled project

Taft College’s beleaguered Campus Center construction project could get back on track if bid packages being prepared by two contractors pass muster.

That was the scenario presented Wednesday at the quarterly meeting of a citizens oversight committee charged with keeping an eye on money generated by a 2004 voter-approved bond measure.

The $17.6 million project that will house food services, student activity offices, and meeting rooms has been delayed because the initial contractor fell behind on deadlines and was doing shoddy work. When the college released the contractor the project became the responsibility of a bond surety company that sought bids from other companies interested in finishing the job.

Brock McMurray, executive vice president for administrative services, told the Measure A citizens oversight committee that two contractors “are actively putting together bid packages” out of the handful that expressed an interest. “One decided to not submit a formal bid.”

Representatives from the companies have visited the campus and “walked through the site,” McMurray said.

Bids must be submitted by Nov. 15 to the bond surety company, which will determine which will finish the project. A timeline presumably will be developed once the bid winner gets the green light.

Of $17.6 million allocated for the project, $13.1 million is Measure A bond money. The remaining $4.5 million is from other sources, including state matching funds.

Director of Fiscal Services Amanda Bauer issued her quarterly report to the panel that listed current cash available at just under $5 million with $44.3 million spent so far.