No bids in latest attempt to get Village project started in Crisfield

Posted 5/10/22

CRISFIELD — It Takes a Village to Help Our Children Inc. received no bids for construction of its proposed 8,500 sq. ft. after-school facility on Asbury Avenue.

At one time the new building …

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No bids in latest attempt to get Village project started in Crisfield

Posted

CRISFIELD — It Takes a Village to Help Our Children Inc. received no bids for construction of its proposed 8,500 sq. ft. after-school facility on Asbury Avenue.

At one time the new building was estimated to cost $1.65 million but no doubt inflation has made it harder for general contractors and their subs to predict future costs due to rising fuel and material prices, not to mention supply chain issues.

Two contractors had attended a pre-bid meeting in March, and at least one of them was expected to turn in a proposal but none were received 

Executive Director Darlene Taylor was disappointed but remains optimistic because “We’re that close,” positioning her forefinger and thumb so that only a tiny gap separates them. “We’re going to get it, it’s just a matter of time,” she said.

Maurice Ngwaba, principal of CHYKE Maurice & Associates which designed the building, recommended another appeal be made to the state about Davis-Bacon wages not being required, although that was unlikely.

The city’s grants administrator Kate Finucan said she will contact the Department of Housing and Community Development about this setback and get advice on how to proceed. DHCD is providing $800,000 through a Community Development Block Grant. Other large contributors include $350,000 from the Weinberg Foundation, $200,000 from the Rural Maryland Council, and $100,000 from Somerset County through the American Rescue Plan.

The city gave final approval for the project in February. In lieu of no city staff members qualified to oversee this project assisting with the review has been County Engineer John Redden, with the next committee meeting this week.

The building will be named the Dr. H. DeWayne Whittington Multicultural Center and be located where the former Whittington Primary School once stood. Dr. Whittington was the county’s first African-American superintendent of schools, and was a member of the Board of Education when he passed away at age 81 in November 2012.