SANGERVILLE, Maine — By obtaining a second opinion, the removal of hazardous materials from the former Abbie Fowler Elementary School went from an estimated $400,000 to $37,300.
On Thursday, selectmen awarded a contract to R. J. Enterprise of Brunswick which bid $37,300, the lowest of three bids for the hazardous materials abatement.
Residents voted last year to demolish the former school, which was deeded to the town after SAD 4 closed the school in 2001. After that vote, selectmen obtained a quote of about $400,000 from Ransom Environmental Consultants of Portland for the abatement work.
The board then looked at obtaining two, $200,000 federal grants for the abatement, but they also sought a second opinion from consultant Steve Wintle of Facility Management Group Inc. of Dexter.
Wintle’s estimate for the abatement work was far less than the earlier quote, so the board retained Wintle to help with the bid process. Three bids that ranged from $37,300 to $71,400 were received and reviewed Thursday before the board made an award. Each of the three bids included two alternates which might affect the cost somewhat, but the Brunswick firm’s bid was still the lowest. The completion date for the work is June 1, 2011.
The hazardous materials include asbestos and mercury containing light bulbs. It is currently unknown how many of the bulbs have the mercury, which is the basis of one of the alternates in the bid.
Once the hazardous materials have been removed, selectmen expect either to contract with a salvage firm for the building’s demolition or do it in-house using town employees and volunteers.
Wintle said a lot of town volunteers helped to bring in the lower bids by doing some preparatory work like removing the door hinges. Selectmen Tom Carone and Lance Burgess, along with Steven Hildreth and Chuck Bean were especially thanked Thursday for their efforts.
Wintle said there is the potential to recoup $20,000 to $40,000 during the demolition by salvaging the kitchen equipment inside the building and the steel and brick.