Agricultural learning center going back out to bid

WOODSFIELD — An agricultural learning center in Woodsfield will go back out to bid after bids were rejected last month.

Mary Jo Westfall, Ohio State University extension associate, attended a Monroe County commissioners meeting on Monday to ask what should be done after bids in late October were rejected.

“We had to reject all of the other bids because they were too high”, Westfall said. “I just needed to know if we are going to reject the bids or try again. Basically, the architect revised the estimate to $911,000. I just wanted to know if we should try this again or just shelve it completely.”

The commissioners advised Westfall that there should be another bid to keep the process of the building going. The original bids for the building were from PCS Builders LLC, based in Cleveland, bid for $769,000; Wolf Creek Contracting Co. LLC of Waterford, Ohio, placed a bid of $1,108,800; Grae-Con Construction Inc. from Marietta, Ohio, bid $1,292,000; and Hostetler Buildings LLC of Adamsville, Ohio, bid $890,000. At that time, commissioners told Westfall that the options would need to be looked over and county Prosecutor James Peters was contacted to help with the process.

The commissioners and Westfall agreed to go through the bidding process again and start re-advertising to companies in late December and to open bids again February 25. The building was first proposed to commissioners in late 2017.

In September, Westfall first asked approval from commissioners to start the bidding process for the construction of the building, and commissioners voted unanimously in favor of her doing so. The county has received $100,000 from the state of Ohio’s capital improvement budget for work on the agricultural learning center and is now seeking the bids for construction work.

Westfall has been working with Bryan Kline, an architect for Tekton Engineering who gave the estimate for the building.

The planned building is expected to serve as a place for agricultural education at the fairgrounds in Woodsfield. It will also house the OSU Extension Service for Monroe County, the Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District, and the Monroe County Agricultural Society, since the building will have various rooms available. There will be a large area that can serve as a conference room as well as a space for 4-H programs and agricultural meetings.

The courthouse in Woodsfield will be closed this coming Monday due to the observance of Veteran’s Day.