SMITHFIELD – Architectural plans for the East Smithfield Neighborhood Center will go out for a second round of bids after a request for proposals returned only one bid, says Finance Director Brian Silvia.
A new request for proposals for phase one improvements on the project will go out immediately, with bids due at 10 a.m. on Oct. 12, and a mandatory site walkthrough on Sept. 21 at 10 a.m. at the ESNC, 7 Esmond St.
Town Manager Randy Rossi said he estimates phase one improvements at $420,000, including “all the major aspects” to get the building habitable.
The scope of the work includes structural remediation, selective demolition, renovations, and historic preservation that may entail concrete work, masonry, interior and exterior finishes, windows, doors and frames, plumbing, and mechanical and electrical upgrades.
Work also includes building out offices for community services and the Parks and Recreation Department. The Smithfield Human Services Department and Food Pantry, currently at the Smithfield Senior Center, will relocate to the ESNC as well.
The center will also house a community conference room, activities room, and main hall for special events.
Additional work is expected to be completed following phase one.
Silvia said the previous request for proposals spurred interest during the mandatory pre-bid meeting at the ESNC on May 14, but only one vendor submitted a proposal for the bid opening on June 17.
Silvia said revising the request to “better address the concerns of vendors and potential bidders would prompt more competition, more bidders, and better pricing.”
The revised request asks for two forms, including a base bid representing the amount of work and costs necessary to address emergency structural work and make the facility safe for occupancy, and an alternate bid to represent the balance of the work and scope of the initial project.
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Smithfield Historic Preservation Commission Chairman Robert Leach, who is a long-time supporter of renovations at the ESNC, thanked the board for its commitment to getting the project done, including the Department of Public Works.
“There is a lot of street work done that could have been a lot more expensive,” he said, adding that electrical and water work was done correctly.
“Believe me, I was looking for mistakes,” he said.
Leach urged everyone to keep the momentum going and to keep up the good work.
The ESNC was shut down in 2017 due to several deficiencies and health and safety issues. Smithfield officials estimate between $750,000 and $850,000 will be needed to complete renovations for the center, with $200,000 in town funds committed to restoring the center.
In May, Smithfield received a $295,000 Community Development Block Grant from the State Office of Housing and Community Development to go toward renovations at the center.