by BRAD ROLLINS
With completion guaranteed in time for the 2014 football season, school district trustees on Monday moved toward awarding a contract to Austin-based Lee Lewis Construction to build the new, 8,000-seat Rattler Stadium at San Marcos High School.
With the low bid of $32,495,000, Lee Lewis beat out three competitors for the first shot at constructing both the stadium and a multi-million dollar student activity center to accommodate athletics and other extracurricular activities. The school board voted unanimously, with David Castillo absent, to use Lee Lewis to oversee construction of the stadium and activity center.
The stadium and activity center will be funded with a money borrowed through nearly $77 million in general obligation bonds the sale of which was authorized by school district voters in May.
Lee Lewis and the other bidders — Bartlett Cocke, Joeris General Contractors and SpawGlass, all of Austin — were evaluated according to a points system established by school officials and Fort Worth-based architecture firm Huckabee & Associates, which is overseeing an aggressive program of new and renovated campuses for the 11,300-student school district. Lee Lewis received an overall score of 961.2 out of 1,000, driven primarily by delivering the lowest price tag and promising completion of the project within 305 days, about 10 months.
In authorizing Superintendent Mark Eads to finalize a contract with Lee Lewis, trustees instructed him to insist that the company use San Marcos-area subcontractors and suppliers when possible. Although Lee Lewis bested the others in its overall score, it fared relatively poorly in its rating for subcontractors, an assessment determined by a bidder’s intent to use local partners and its intent to use subcontractors with which the school district has had good dealings in the past. In that category, Lee Lewis earned a rating of 78.9 compared to 98.9 for Joeris and 90 for Bartlett.
“I just want to make sure the [general contractor] hires local companies as much as possible and also that they purchase from our local vendors as much as possible… We want to make sure we keep our money here,” trustee Kathy Hansen said.
Eads said he would emphasize the district’s preference for local subcontractors and suppliers when trying to reach final terms with Lee Lewis.
“What you’re doing [with this vote] is providing us an opportunity to negotiate. … Those are things we’d go in and sit down with Lee Lewis and say ‘These are the the subcontractors we are willing to deal with,’” the superintendent said.
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