The bids for the Miller-Driscoll renovation project are in and at first blush it appears the project is “trending under budget,” according to Bruce Hampson, chair of the project building committee. The committee met Monday evening, Nov. 2, to consider the submitted bids.

Ty Tregellas, the project executive with Turner Construction, characterized the bidding process as “very competitive.” There were 108 submissions for 22 contracts.

The total estimate for all packages was $38,864,000. The bids came in at $34,389,000, bringing those costs in at $4,475,000 under budget. Reductions in other expenses, such as liability insurance and general conditions bring the total to $4,634,000 under budget. However, not all the bids have been reviewed, and should a contractor not be able to deliver, the second-highest bidder would be considered. For example, the low bid for the plumbing contract contained math errors and had to be withdrawn.

By state law, contracts must be awarded to the lowest qualified contractor. All bidders are on the state’s list of approved bidders. Turner has its own pre-qualifications for bidders, as well, including financials and safety.

At its meeting, the committee approved 13 bid packages totaling $23,312,652. Their total costs are as follows:

Demolition & Abatement — $1,943,000;

Concrete — $969,000;

Structural Steel & Misc. Metals — $1,399,000;

Millwork — $937,000;

Masonry — $1,789,000;

Glass & Glazing — $1,789,000;

Drywall & General Trades — $572,000;

Ceilings — $2,250,000;

Plumbing — $519,000;

HVAC & Controls — $4,998,000;

Electrical, Fire Alarm & Security — $3,551,000;

Sitework — $4,190,000.

The contracts will not be executed until approved by the Board of Selectmen.

The committee will meet Tuesday, Nov. 10, to review and vote on the remaining contracts. It is imperative to get the contracts awarded, Mike Douyard of Turner said, in order to start work on time. Enabling work, such as running a data cable for IT, checking valves and electrical connections, emptying classrooms, is scheduled to begin Thanksgiving week.

Second graders will move into the temporary classrooms the week of Dec. 11, and construction is expected to begin Dec. 28.

Superintendent of Schools Kevin Smith was at Monday’s meeting to explain the check-in process construction workers will undergo. The school district has devised a visitor management system utilizing the service Hall Pass, which has access to an extensive list of databases, both public and law enforcement, as well as media reports and various registries.

Workers licenses will be scanned and run through the databases. Any name that’s flagged, will be brought to Smith’s attention.

“Ultimately, we want to be sure our kids and staff are safe,” he said.

As many as 250 workers could be on site during the summer, Douyard said, but that number would be closer to 50 when school is in session.