Now that its school board has selected a contractor, the Mattituck-Cutchogue School District is gearing up to construct a new high school track.
The first round of bids were rejected in April because they were too high, said Michael Engelhardt, the district’s business administrator overseeing the project’s finances.
On Monday, he said Corazzini Asphalt and CAC Contracting of Cutchogue was awarded the contract May 15 after submitting the lowest bid.
In October, voters approved a $925,000 bond to replace its cinder track with one suitable for the school to host meets. The track, which will feature the school colors of blue with gold stripes, is scheduled to be completed in August.
Corazzini, which submitted a $761,700 proposal to install the track, fencing and electrical work, was one of six companies that originally bid on the project April 24, according to a Freedom of Information request obtained by The Suffolk Times.
Mr. Engelhardt said the first round of bids included fencing expenses. The revised bids had fencing “broken out” and listed as an “alternate” project because the initial proposals came in too high, he said.
At $841,853, Corazzini’s first proposal was the third-lowest bid. LandTekGroup, a national company based in Amityville that designs and constructs sports facilities, bid $824,000 — the lowest proposal. Other proposals came from Rosemar Construction ($911,000), South Fork Asphalt ($924,429) and Gatz Landscaping Inc. ($955,200), according to the records.
The Mattituck-Cutchogue school board rejected those proposals during a special April 30 meeting by a 6-0 vote, Mr. Engelhardt said. School board vice president Charlie Anderson was absent from the meeting, according to the minutes.
The district originally projected a nearly $675,000 budget to install a new all-weather, polyflex track over the existing track. The remaining funds were slated for fencing, electrical work, a contingency budget and about $25,000 worth of asbestos remediation work for inside the school, among other expenses.
“After the bond passed and we could begin to spend money, the first thing we did was a soil boring,” Mr. Engelhardt said. “The soil boring showed unsuitable soil for compaction two feet under the existing cinder track. That means the first thing we’re going to have to do is dig down about two feet the entire width and perimeter of this track and get down to compactible soil.
“That was the first step and is partly why these bids came in higher than we anticipated,” he continued. “We didn’t anticipate a compaction problem for a field that’s been there forever, undisturbed.”
Representatives for Corazzini did not return requests seeking comment for this story.
After the original bids were rejected, each contractor resubmitted proposals May 8, except South Fork Asphalt and Gatz Landscaping -— the latter of which Mr. Engelhardt said is unrelated to school board member Bill Gatz or his family.
The second round of proposals included bids from Laser Industries ($838,838), LandTekGroup ($829,500) and Rosemar Construction ($875,000), according to district records.
Prior to awarding Corazzini the contract, Mr. Engelhardt said, the district’s architect visited Sachem North High School in Lake Ronkonkoma, where he said the company installed a new track about two years ago.
For that project, Mr. Engelhardt said, Corazzini did the digging and asphalt and subcontracted surfacing work with Everguard and Island Concrete for cement and drainage. Mr. Engelhardt said Corazzini has hired those same companies for Mattituck’s track. The arrangement is common when constructing high school tracks, he said, because the lead contractor typically works with companies that offer different services.
School board president Jerry Diffley said the reason he voted in favor of approving the contract was a combination of the positive feedback he received about the Sachem job and the fact that Corazzini is a local business.
“Everyone was thrilled with how the [Sachem] track turned out,” he said. “I can’t wait. It’s a long time coming and I’m glad the community supported it.”