CRISFIELD — The contract for structural and building envelope renovations to the former Tawes Armory will go to Delmarva Veteran Builders which submitted the lower of two bids opened by the city last month.
The bid of $714,000 can be reduced by some $70,000 however, if the Maryland Historical Trust will allow power-tool removal of mortar between the bricks rather than removal by hand chisel as would be required for a circa 1927 building with an historic easement.
That reduction is critical because of the $750,000 in grant funds already received by the city there is $662,750 left after the first phase which involved asbestos removal. Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Ken Holt promised the city $1 million over four years for the renovation, with the final $250,000 still to come for FY23, said Mayor Barry Dize.
This second phase addresses the masonry, windows, steel lintels, and barrel vault roof plus structural issues. Inside where asbestos tiles were removed the contractor will also replace decayed flooring that was found underneath.
Jason Loar, the consulting engineer on the project with Davis, Bowen & Friedel Inc., said if necessary additional cost savings will be identified.
Bancroft Construction was the other bidder and submitted a base bid of $810,462. It also utilized the same masonry subcontractor and offered cost savings with Maryland Historical Trust approval.
Mayor Dize said he knew the $1 million would not be enough to get the building fully operational but by continuing this process he sees it returning as a useful and vital place. At the last regular meeting the City Council approved the low bid contingent on DHCD concurrence. Vice President Eric Banks abstained.