High Bids Halt Demolition Of Longfellow Building

July 5, 2018

Everett Schools

fire drill

Everett Fire Department crews are drilling at the Longfellow Building this week.

It appears to be quite a quandary for the Everett School District.

This year the district decided the Longfellow Building is too expensive to operate and rejected plans submitted by potential operators as not practical.

Now, after asking for bids to demolish the building, that process is on hold as the School Board vote deadlocked with no winning approvals. The reason, the bids came in too expensive.

Here’s the latest in a press release issued by the Everett School District this afternoon.

The Everett Public Schools Board of Directors tonight reviewed the proposed bid award for the Longfellow site redevelopment. The lowest of two bids received for the project was Taylor’s Excavation, Inc. for $2,019,642.38 plus Washington state sales tax (WSST). The architect’s estimated construction cost for this project was $1,352,000 plus WSST, and funding would be provided by non-bond and non-levy sources such as rent, property sales, and other miscellaneous funding sources.

The scope of work included the removal and disposal of hazardous materials and an underground fuel storage tank, demolition of the Longfellow Building and Longfellow Annex, installation of a new rock retaining wall, light poles, asphalt paving, and landscaping. As part of the SEPA mitigation for this project, the district is planning a commemorative sign on the east side of Oakes Avenue describing the building and its history. District staff and consultants have already met with Everett Fire Department and the City of Everett Historical Commission to determine reuse of some of the historical artifacts from the building, including items ranging from doors and handrails to fire alarms and soap dispensers.

In a stalemate, or tie vote, the board did not award the bid. Under the rules of Parliamentary Procedure, the motion failed and the bid was not awarded. Board President Caroline Mason said, “The board is responsible for stewarding district financial and facility resources. It is a responsibility we take very seriously.”

Superintendent Gary Cohn indicated that the district would likely pursue bids that are more competitive and bring a request to award a bid at a future board meeting.

BACKGROUND

District staff began to evaluate the potential future uses of the Longfellow Building and Longfellow Annex site along with other property resources in 2014. This process incorporated input from the public, numerous discussions in open meetings, and presentations at board meetings, historical commission meetings, and other public forums. From 2015-17, the district commissioned two real estate brokers with public facility experience to find a potential buyer or lessor with the financial backing and development experience to restore and preserve the building. Despite these efforts, the district was not successful in obtaining a viable proposal that would preserve the building while retaining district use of the grounds for Memorial Stadium users, and while maintaining compatibility with the student and community activities at Memorial Stadium and the district’s Athletics Building.

 



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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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