Marlinton Community Center Project Goes Back Out To Bid

Marlinton, WV – Dale Withrow of the Chapman Technical Group admits they were caught off guard when looking at the construction bids submitted for the Marlinton Community center last year.

“Last time we did get caught a little flat footed,” he says. “There was some site work that was a lot more expensive than we had anticipated, and then frankly, the building itself had grown a little bit as we’ve worked on it over the years. Been working together nearly 7 years on this project so it’s grown and the scope has kind of gotten out of line.”

So, it was back to the drawing board, so to speak, to reconfigure and make some cuts where possible without sacrificing functionality. Withrow says they now they have a design that can be built within the 2.5 million construction budget. The chosen site for the center, adjacent to Marlinton Elementary school, has unique challenges of its own.

“We’re actually building in the back waters of Knapps Creek here, so we’ve got creek bottom that we’re dealing with,” says Withrow. “In years past as work has progressed around the elementary school, there’s been fill that has been brought in and it was not put in, in what we call a controlled’ fashion. Not that it was done badly, it just wasn’t done in anticipation of putting a building of this magnitude on the site.”

Withrow says they’ll use engineered fill to build up the site.

“We’re going to strip it down, right down to about 10 lower than it is now, so we get down to what’s referred to as competent’ soil,” he says. “It’s undisturbed; it should be consolidated and able to withstand the pressure of the building. But since we have to bring the building up to get it out of the flood plain, we want to do it in a controlled fashion and that’s what we refer to as engineered fill.”

“We’ll actually bring in large stones and lay those over the bottom of the excavation. They’re just going to run a pretty heavy bulldozer over that until it’s pretty well – this is not a very good engineering term, but until it’s pretty well mashed into the ground!”

Following that process, a crushed aggragate, excavated locally at Mill Point will be put down to further compact the site, until they reach the desired level of elevation. On top of that will be another 5 feet of uncontrolled fill that will be monitored by a surveyor to see if it continues to settle. Withrow says if it doesn’t move more than a eighth of an inch in two weeks, they’ll know they’ve reached the desired compaction. Once complete, the center will sit a little than the existing school.

“The benchmark that we’re using is the finished floor in the cafeteria, and what some people refer to it as the music building, some people refer to as existing multi-purpose room, we’re actually going to be 3 feet, 1inch higher at the finished floor than that building,” he says.

Advertisements for construction bids will appear in the Charleston Gazette and the Pocahontas Times newspapers. The bid deadline is February 29th at 1:30pm.

“There’s plenty of work to be done here; we want all of the local contractors to get involved,” says Withrow. “If they’re qualified, if they have a contractors lisence and if they’re registered with the state of West Virginia, come on down. We need anybody and everybody and give us a good competitive bid. We will have a pre-bid meeting which is where we want everybody to come out to the site so we can talk about it; again, hope the local contractors will see our ads and get involved.”

Mike Holstine, chairman of the Pocahontas Parks and Recreation board, the group overseeing the project, says it will benefit the whole community.

“It is a community development program and a community development project,” says Holstine. “And we certainly would like to have the community of contractors that we know exists in Pocahontas County and this local area. And for that reason we also are looking for women owned businesses and minority businesses are absolutely welcome to be part of this project.”

The pre-bid meeting is on February 14th at 1:30pm at the Parks and Recreation office in Marlinton. Withrow says while general contractors are required to attend the pre-bid meeting, sub-contractors are also encouraged to attend and to bring plenty of business cards to hand out to general contractors.

You can find more information about the project and Chapman Technical Group at their website, or by phone at 304-727-5501.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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