LUMBERTON — Only one company submitted a bid to become the design engineer for the town’s new police station located on Central Street, according to Town Manager James Kreidler. Jacunski Humes Architects, LLC of Berlin was the sole company to submit their qualifications to the town in time. Mr. Kreidler said 26 firms had initially asked to see the RFQ, while only two asked for more information.
Jacunski Humes is vying for the opportunity to transform the former courthouse into the police station — a project years in the making. On Monday, Executive Assistant Linda Daigle and a representative for the owner’s project Manager — CDR Maguire — met to score the Connecticut company’s qualifications.
The company was awarded 30 points out of a possible 36, which Ms. Daigle said was a good score. “They have a good record of being on budget, which is important for us,” said Ms. Daigle. Ms. Daigle said that the company specializes in police stations and has worked with the city of Gardner. “They had great references,” she said.
According to Ms. Daigle, there will be a meeting to discuss whether or not to recommend the contract to Humes Architects on April 1. The recommendation would be prepared by CDR Maguire.
Mr. Kreidler was not concerned by the lack of alternate bids. He said because the town asked for an RFQ instead of a request for a proposal, they still have the ability to negotiate the price of services. “We still have all the control,” he said. After a contract is negotiated, the town will begin the process of looking for a construction company.
Officials first considered renovating the former courthouse for use as a police station in July 2009 — approximately one month after the courthouse on Central Street was moved into the Gardner District Court building.
In 2010, voters approved the so-called “turn key” purchase of the former courthouse for the police station project at a cost of $2.1 million. Later that year, however, the state’s Supreme Judicial Court ruled in a separate case that such agreements violate state law because they do not require prevailing wages and avoid the open bidding process. That decision halted the project.
Residents then voted last year to spend $2.75 million on an open bid for a new police station. Two bids were submitted for consideration, including one offering the former courthouse at a pricetag of $835,000. In June, the board unanimously voted to execute the purchase and sales agreement to buy the property. Officials are still hoping to finish the police station by the end of November.