Westminster to rebid renovation job at former school, seek more state aid


Because all the bids were too high, the city of Westminster will readvertise the renovation of the former West End School and seek additional state money for the job.

Despite cuts in the proposal, the gap remained too wide, said Karen K. Blandford, the city's administrator of housing and community development.

The turn-of-the-century schoolhouse, off Pennsylvania Avenue near Western Maryland College, will house an adult day-care facility on the first floor and eight assisted-living housing units for the elderly on the second, to be run by Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland.

The exterior of the building on Schoolhouse Avenue will be preserved. The city hopes to have the new bids by the end of May and award the job in June, said Thomas B. Beyard, the city's director of planning and public works.

The 10 bids received in January were similar in amount but about $110,000 too high, Blandford said. Proposed changes in the renovation were only able to whittle that margin to about $54,000.

"The problem with the job is that there weren't many frills to begin with," Blandford said, noting that many of the proposed changes amounted to a few hundred dollars or less.

Family and Children's Services, a nonprofit social service agency, will pick up more of the burden of costs through fund-raising, Blandford said, while the city will seek more state money based on the new bids.

"We had 10 bidders and that was excellent," Blandford said. "But this is a much busier time of year, so I'll be holding my breath.

"The one thing we have known ever since the bids came in and we knew we were in trouble on the bids, is that we and Family and Children's Services are dedicated to this project," she said.

"It's a wonderful project, and nobody has backed down from finding a solution to making it work."

Pub Date: 4/16/97

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