Niles building repairs on track

NILES — The architect guiding the city through repairs at the city administration building is recommending the city accept bids offered for the last stages of the work.

At the Dec. 28 roundtable, council members and the administration heard from Bruce Sekanick with Phillips Sekanick Architects Inc.

He recommended the city move forward with a $78,000 bid from Alex Restoration and Masonry Repairs in New Castle, Pa., for masonry work and waterproofing; and a $57,000 bid from Jim Santini Builder Inc. in Washingtonville to complete interior touch-ups.

“I know when we started this process about 100 days ago, we spoke a lot about the unknowns,” said Councilman Barry Steffey Jr., D-4th Ward. “It is calming to finally speak about the known.”

All of the work could be done by March. The inside will be completed in steps, with the tax and treasury office the first targets to prepare them for tax season, said Safety Service Jim DePasquale.

“It was a process but we’ve got a clean, nice, safe and watertight building and kept the project on budget,” Sekanick said.

The total project was estimated at around $500,000, but the new roof and the interior work came in under budget. The roof was estimated at $295,000 but only cost $203,000, and the interior work was estimated at $90,000, Sekanick said.

The masonry work came in $18,000 over the estimate, and the mold remediation cost about $87,000, Sekanick said.

With design and management costs billed to the architecture firm, the total cost comes to about $472,000.

A long-neglected roof led to water damage and mold in the building, Sekanick said. The administration closed the building briefly over the summer and moved city offices around to avoid the most contaminated rooms. There was no black mold, but high readings of other types.

The building is now free of mold, said Kevin Wyndham, managing partner of ServiceMaster Restoration by Lewis Construction.

As long as the building remains free of water leaks, the mold should not return, Wyndham said. The company tore out most of the damaged drywall and did not find any unexpected problems that would have driven up the repair costs.

Inside, crews will replace some drywall and carpeting, do some carpentry work, paint and install insulation, Sekanick said.

Council will have to vote to give the safety service director permission to enter into the contracts. Council President Robert Marino suggested a 7 percent contingency be added to the costs to cover the unexpected.

Seven others offered bids for the masonry work — with the highest bids over $110,000, according to documents provided by Sekanick. Three other companies offered bids for the interior work — ranging from $80,000 to more than $100,000.