Vincennes University’s Budget and Finance Committee on Tuesday awarded the third and final contract associated with a major electrical overhaul.
The committee, an arm of the university’s Board of Trustees, met briefly via phone and awarded a contract of just over $6.5 million to low-bidder Alva Electrical Inc. in Evansville for all the electrical infrastructure needed to complete the project.
It was the second time the committee sought bids on the work, as they came in too high this spring. The low bid was for $6 million, but officials said it was incomplete. Others came in higher than the estimate at $10 million and even $14 million.
“We did some value engineering, some clarification of the scope of work,” campus architect Andrew Young said. “We got it down to a (base bid) of just over $5.3 million. Combined with the alternates we want, that makes it ($6.5 million).”
The committee in early May awarded a contract of just over $570,000 to low-bidder PCI Skanska of Evansville for the construction of a new substation.
The Campus Infrastructure Project includes the substation as well as electrical upgrades campus-wide.
In April, the finance committee awarded a contract for more than $914,000 to Alva for several lead items that need to be purchased ahead of time — such as a main transformer and enclosure for the new substation and switchgear, among others.
This third contract is, essentially, for the infrastructure needed to tie it all together.
The university hasn’t worked with Alva before, but Young said he did his research.
“I talked to them and with people they’ve worked for,” Young said, adding that Alva has also worked previously with the other contractor, Skanska.
“So we feel pretty comfortable with Alva as a company,” Young said.
According to its website, Alva has previous done work on the Old National Bank Events Center in Evansville, Deaconess Hospital, and projects on the University of Southern Indiana campus, including the theater, conference center, Health Professions Building and the USI Arena.
Linda Waldroup, the university’s vice-president of financial services, told the committee that, upon reviewing the bids, she believed they were getting “a good value” with Alva.
The entire electrical upgrade, she said, “came together very well” by doing the separate bid packages — and going out for bid a second time on the infrastructure in an effort to get a better price.
“I’m very pleased,” she said. “And I think it’s going to be a great project to work on.”
But it’s not the only project being taken on by university officials right now.
The finance committee, too, is overseeing a project to replace the HVAC system and lighting at the Phillip M. Summers Center Academic Building, 118 E. St. Clair St. That estimated $3 million project includes new windows, exterior metal panels and revamped vestibules and upgraded finishes on the building named for the late VU president.
The finance committee also awarded bids in April for a third project at the Shircliff Humanities Building, 130 E. Harrison St.
That $4.3 million project includes an overhaul of its HVAC system as well as new lighting throughout, a new stone exterior at the main entry, new curtain wall, entry vestibule, a complete lobby renovation and renovations to restrooms and doors to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
That project is expected to be complete in early December.
And in May, the finance committee also awarded a more than $935,000 contract to Wolfe Construction, 2724 Washington Ave., for a second phase of work at Walter A. Davis Hall, 1200 N. Second St., which includes new flooring, office and classroom renovations, green room updates for the broadcast journalism department, and new doors and hardware throughout.
Davis Hall is named for a former VU president.