Madison Municipal Building (copy)

The city’s $30 million plan to renovate the landmark Madison Municipal Building is back on track now that two bidders came in under budget.

Reconstruction work on the Madison Municipal Building will be able to continue on budget now that the city has received bids in line with the renovation it projected.

After receiving two initial bids in March exceeding the approximately $20 million construction phase, staff revised the scope of the project and put out another bid. Miron Construction put in a $29.6 million offer and Tri-North Builders’ estimate came in at $32 million.

“We’re very happy and grateful for the bidders we got,” project manager Bryan Cooper said. “We’re excited about getting started.”

Miron Construction submitted another bid at $20.25 million with an additional $358,782 for replacing the historic windows and $163,182 for a green roof. J.P. Cullen & Sons, who did not participate in the bidding process the first time, submitted a base bid of $18.2 million with $376,172 for windows and $125,968 for the green roof.  

The city budgeted $20.3 million for construction and an additional $10 million for other expenses including design, staff time and environmental remediation that includes removing asbestos.

The Board of Public Works is scheduled to consider the bids May 3 with a recommendation to approve the J.P. Cullen & Sons offer. The City Council would follow with a decision May 16. 

"It's a huge relief to see the good news ... that the Madison Municipal Building renovation project is back on schedule and equally important, on budget, so we can move forward with the long overdue renovation of this historic building," Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said. 

After approval, Cooper said the contract would begin in late May or early June with an expected completion date at the end of August 2018.

Before the delay, the city had hope to have construction completed in June 2018.

Now empty, the MMB housed city departments like planning, building inspection, traffic engineering, zoning, the Community Development Authority and Community and Economic Development divisions. In November, city staff moved to temporary office space.

Leases for the temporary space end in October 2018 with two options for two-month renewals. However, Cooper said the city hopefully won't have to extend.

Cooper said the two-month delay means a smaller margin for error on moving the staff back into the building.

“We built in a little time and the city does have extensions in those lease,” Cooper said. “At this time, we don’t intend to exercise the use of those.”

When the city first went out to bid, Cooper said there were also three UW-Madison construction projects happening that might have affected the response to the city.

“We’re speculating that took some steam from ours,” Cooper said.

To cut costs, the city revised its bid and divided it into five components including demolishing the annex building, restoring the historic windows, major restoration, interior way-finding and audio/visual. Demolition of the annex is completed, and the majority of the asbestos removal is finished, Cooper said.

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Abigail Becker joined The Capital Times in 2016, where she primarily covers city and county government. She previously worked for the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and the Wisconsin State Journal.