The Pleasant Hill City Council has rejected an appeal by a Richmond building firm challenging a competing bid to build the city’s new library building, opening the way for the council to award the contract to the only other bidder for the long-awaited project.
Those actions, council members said, finally clear the way for library construction to begin after years of planning and cooperation among several major players. Barring unforeseen problems, city officials say the new library should open in mid-2022.
At its Aug. 3 meeting, the council voted to award the library contract to Napa-based BHM Construction Inc.
BHM was one of four companies to bid on the library work when, in June, the City Council called for a rebid of the project, voting 5-0 to reject all four bids opened in May because of an unspecified “abnormality” in one of the bids, from C. Overaa Construction of Richmond.
The problem was described as more serious than a typo or a clerical error, but never publicly specified. The council unanimously rejected all four previous bids, including Overaa’s low bid of $21,717,000.
Overaa and BHM were the only two companies to submit bids the second time; those bids were unsealed June 29. This time, BHM, at $20.92 million, came in slightly lower than Overaa’s $21.04 million bid.
Overaa filed an appeal on July 7 contesting the BHN bid. The city and its consultants found the protest “meritless,” and notified Overaa of that on July 13.
On Aug. 3, City Manager June Catalano called approval of the BHM bid the end of a “long, complicated and momentous process.”
And City Councilman Michael Harris, referring to his long council tenure said, “It’s a dream come true for me and so many other people. This was on my agenda when I first ran for the council in the 1820s.”
The new 24,000-square-foot, single-story library will be built on a vacant 3.65-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Monticello Avenue and Oak Park Boulevard, near where the old, recently closed library — the Contra Costa County Library system’s flagship — now sits.
The new library is part of a four-way plan in which the old library is leveled to make way for 34 new two-story houses on that land.
The final step of that process occurred in July, when the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors approved the $13.8 million sale of 4.8 acres to Walnut Creek-based Davidon Homes for construction of the single-family houses.
The old Pleasant Hill library closed June 3 after more than 50 years. A temporary Pleasant Hill library opened July 14 in a community room at City Hall.