Board bypasses bidding

Waiver approved to move projects ahead, save money

A surveillance camera watches over the parking lot at Long River Middle School in Prospect.  –FILE PHOTO

A surveillance camera watches over the parking lot at Long River Middle School in Prospect. –FILE PHOTO

REGION 16 — The Board of Education voted last week to waive the bid requirement for three larger components of the planned school safety upgrades in an effort to save money and move the projects forward.

Tyco, formerly ADT, was awarded the bid for new surveillance cameras and the associated work, a fast pass system, which is identification and tracking system software, for the district office and web-based access controls for doors, which require personnel to swipe a card to open doors.

The bid for new digital radios and a repeater at the district office was awarded to Utility Communications of Hamden, while the Derby-based Calvert Safe & Lock received the bid for new doors locks and retrofitting some doors.

Director of Finance and Business Operations Pamela Mangini said the board’s facilities committee discussed how to move forward with the work and felt waiving the bid requirement is the best way to move forward.

“We’re trying to prioritize,” Mangini said. “We felt these were three important things that we should move forward with as quickly as possible.”

The contracts for the work were not finalized as of press time. Officials were expected to meet with representatives from the companies this week to begin ironing out the details.  

Initially, officials planned to have consultants working on the new Prospect Elementary School help develop bid specifications for these safety upgrades. However, Mangini said, it wouldn’t have been cost-effective to do so.

Mangini said all three vendors are on the state bid contracts list and have done work before in Region 16. She added the district has limited time to complete the work and submit the necessary paperwork to the state to receive reimbursement.

Voters approved a $1,955,000 appropriation for the security improvements at a referendum in April. The new digital cameras and the infrastructure needed to support them make up the bulk of the cost at an estimated price of nearly $1 million.

The district will be reimbursed for eligible costs through a state grant. The amount the district is responsible for is estimated at $995,000. The district’s cost includes its match for the grant, about $612,000, and the cost of items not eligible for reimbursement under the grant, which is estimated to be $383,000.

Mangini said the work has to be done and reimbursement requests into state by June 30, 2015. Though it seems like a long time, she said, the board has a large project ahead of it.

“We have a very, very aggressive project in front of us,” she said.

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