With a leap of faith and firm resolution, the Gila Community College (GCC) board on May 12 ticked off another check mark toward completing the prerequisites for the cosmetology program by hiring a contractor to build the modular building to house the program.
After putting out a request for sealed bids, Dean Stephen Cullen announced two companies had responded with complete bids: Division Nine from Phoenix and Matrix Modular from North Dakota.
“Matrix Modular put in a bid for $127,264 and Division Nine quoted $133,318,” said Cullen.
He said the bids would cover the actual modular building for the cosmetology equipment, not site preparation. Division Nine had already been hired to perform the site preparation.
“The specifications were released to both bidders… to build the modular to specification, the electrical and plumbing are the two main issues,” said Cullen.
The only concern Cullen had was that Matrix Modular did not specify if it would install new AC units, while Division Nine stated it would.
Cullen said on another project the college completed, the used AC units broke down within six months, requiring expensive replacements.
He said he did not wish to repeat that experience.
Representatives of the two companies answered questions, including Tom Russo from Division Nine and Alan Spacer from Matrix Modular.
Board member John Zilisch worried about hiring one contractor to prepare the site and a different one to build the building. “My concern is if we have two separate contractors ... there will be finger-pointing if something goes wrong,” said Zilisch.
President Sam Moorhead had concerns about hiring an out-of-state contractor that would not have an Arizona contractor’s license.
“I don’t know this for a fact, but I don’t know how you can bid for a contract in a state where you don’t hold a contractor’s license,” said Russo.
At that point, Zilisch and board member Larry Stephenson started to ask questions legal counsel Brian Chambers suggested would best be answered in executive session. The board agreed and hashed out their questions before returning to vote to select Division Nine as the contractor.
After the meeting, Stephenson said Division Nine’s higher bid satisfied three of GCC’s needs: an Arizona license, continuity and the new AC unit.