Bids for the
planned $16 million expansion of the Gloucester County Institute of
Technology in Deptford have come in under budget. Although the bids
still have to be approved, officials said this week they expect the
project to cost close to $13 million.
"Because of the competitive climate out there, a lot of the contractors
are hungry," said county Administrator Chad Bruner.
In all, the county received 13 bids for this project, more than what
was recently received for the $98 million courthouse expansion, said
Bruner. "That tells you that with this economy, a lot of contractors
are being competitive," said Bruner. "They need work. They
The county was anticipating the bids would come in under budget, but
Bruner admitted he did not think it would be this low. "We're
very happy with the projected numbers and look forward to a good,
clean project," said Bruner.
Late last year, the county announced a scaled-back plan to build a
new Academy High School on the grounds of GCIT. The initial proposal
called for a new building. Instead, it was decided the technology
school would undergo a massive renovation. The Academy High School
students will still get space, but it will continue to be in the same
building. Garrison Architects of Mt. Laurel are completed the
There will also be more vocational classes offered because of this
This proposal will allow the district to expand its total enrollment
by about 500 seats.
"This is a huge step in that this is now the birth of a formal
school within a school," said Fred Keating, director of education
and disability services for the county. "I think we did it both
efficiently and effectively."
The county will look to recoup nearly half of the cost associated
with this project through state aid.
GCIT's board of education is scheduled to hold a meeting Feb. 18.
At that time, a contract is expected to be awarded, according to Keating.
Construction could begin in March, with the work expected to completed
in time for the 2010 school year.
Officials are still hoping to get funding from the federal stimulus
plan to help offset some of the costs associated with this project.
Since the project is ready to begin, it has a decent chance of getting
partially funded should this stimulus package pass, said Bruner.