Española School District Facilities Manager Aaron Aragon was back in the hot seat Monday during the Board’s work session. Aragon presented the Board with proposals from three firms to provide engineering and oversight for the drainage issues at Española Valley High School.
Aragon immediately ran into trouble when Board members asked questions about the widely varying scopes of work each firm offered to provide. All of the proposals are for preparation, design and oversight. They are not for the actual work.
Wilson and Company, of Las Cruces, submitted the highest proposal at $71,689. The proposal included:
• visit the site and review the problems;
• coordinate a meeting with the District;
• perform a topographic survey
• do a geotechnical investigation of soil-bearing pressure for a retaining wall;
• prepare the design;
• review the construction estimate and
• review the overall design package.
Living Designs Group, of Taos, bid $39,562 to provide:
• survey existing conditions;
• grading and drainage plans, inclusive of retaining wall;
• administration and coordination of work;
• delivery of design documents.
Canova Engineering, of Canova, bid $37,000 plus tax to provide:
• site plan;
• demolition of existing building;
• survey and slope analysis;
• walk paths/sidewalks ADA compliant;
• roadway plans;
• provide drainage plans;
• hydrologic calculations;
• parking design;
The two big issues for Board members were the inclusion of a building demolition in Canova’s bid and not the other two engineering firms. It also included making sidewalks ADA compliant and providing roadway plans.
Also Wilson and Company’s bid included changes to the parking lot and adding parking.
Aragon said he hoped the Board could make a decision and move forward with the project.
Board member Jeremy Maestas began the discussion asking why Canova included the demolition of a building.
“They don’t seem to be covering the same scope of work,” Maestas said. “Another one doesn’t mention the building.”
Aragon said every engineer was taken to the job site and shown the project.
“One engineer said the building needed to be removed, others didn’t,” he said. “We all walked the same scope of work, drainage in front, baseball field in back, the erosion.”
Maestas said a scope of work should have been provided to each engineer.
“My understanding is we tell the contractor what we expect them to do through that RFP (request for proposal) process,” he said. “So I’m confused that they’re all different.”
Aragon said the proposals were all the same in regard to the drainage issues and retaining pond. He offered to ask questions and get the engineers to clarify their proposals.
Maestas asked if the job was put out to bid and Aragon said the estimate was below the $60,000 threshold for a bid request but it did need three proposals.
Maestas insisted the job required a scope of work and the District needed to follow the procurement code.
Board President Gilbert Serrano said it sounded like the District will have to go through the proposal process.
“I have some serious concerns,” he said. “We’ve been at this since we reviewed the job and if we go to RFP it’s a three-month process, right? And the coaches and AD (athletic director) wanted this done by February.”
Construction running into the spring would disrupt some spring sports, mostly girls softball, as that field is most affected by the runoff and erosion.
Aragon said it would not be done by February, “just because of the process.”
Serrano told Aragon to follow up on the requests and make sure they all were bidding on the same thing.
“If you’re going to go with Canova, then tell the others to do the same (regarding the building demolition),” he said.
Board member Matthew Casados asked Aragon if during the walk-through he provided an understandable scope of work for them to provide a “like for like bid” to the District.
Aragon said when he did the walk-through he gave each engineer the height of the wall and linear feet.
“We went by the bleachers where the erosion is,” he said. “I’m not an engineer. I’m not going to tell them what to do. We did the same walk-through with each of them.”
Casados suggested providing each firm with a bullet point request.
“Revise the scope so they know what they need to provide us,” he said. “Conceivably we should be able to get a bid out and three weeks on the street, and within a month-and-a-half have a pretty good plan that would withstand any scrutiny.”
Aragon said he would revise and fine-tune to get a more clear bid from each firm. Board members agreed they wanted the same documents, Aragon was providing to engineers.