Greehey center is a go

Project contract awarded to Kolacia Construction

The above is an artist’s rendering of the new Greehey Family Student Success Center planned for the Iowa Central Community College campus in Fort Dodge.

FORT DODGE – It’s a green light for the Greehey center.

A contractor has now been chosen for Iowa Central Community College’s planned Greehey Family Student Success Center, the largest new project made possible by a $25.5 million general obligation bond issue approved in February 2018.

The contract was awarded to Kolacia Construction, of Fort Dodge, for $8.5 million, the lowest of five bids which fulfilled all legal requirements, at the college’s Board of Directors meeting Tuesday night.

College President Dan Kinney is excited for the project to start.

“I’ll guarantee you if there’s any way to get this snow gone, the next day I want to start it,” Kinney said.

The above map shows the area where the Greehey Family Student Success Center will be built on the Fort Dodge campus of Iowa Central Community College.

It’s going to take some time, but Kinney said he expects work to start by April or May.

All bids came in at a very reasonable amount, Kinney said.

“As you can see, we received very competitive bids,” he said.

Although initially called a $6 million building, when plans and specifications were approved in February the Success Center was considered a $12.15 million project.

Other bids for the project were:

• $9.25 million from Henkel, of Sioux City

• $8.77 million from Woodruff Construction, Fort Dodge

• $8.69 million from Jensen Builders, Fort Dodge

• $8.48 million from Sande Construction, Webster City

Sande’s bid was slightly lower than the bid from Kolacia, but all bid paperwork wasn’t filled out completely, said Kinney and board president Mark Crimmins.

Under law, any firm bidding on a public project has to provide a statement of the bidder’s resident status, Crimmins said — a document showing the bidder is authorized to transact business in Iowa.

The difference between the two lowest bids was $19,704, or about 0.23 percent.

“I reviewed the Iowa administrative code,” said Crimmins, an attorney. “It’s a requirement of the code that the residence form be submitted with the bid. That wasn’t done. When I compared the two bids, like Dr Kinney said, it’s two-tenths of 1 percent difference. In my mind, it’s a statistical tie.”

The new center will consolidate veterans services, enrollment services, student advising, financial aid, the registrar, counseling, housing, career services, distance learning, early intervention support and security in one place. Currently, those services are located in different campus buildings.

The center will be located where a parking lot now sits next to a pond in the middle of the campus. Plans call for a pedestrian bridge across part of the pond to link the Student Resource Center to the new facility.

The center is named for the family of Bill Greehey, a Fort Dodge Senior High School graduate who was the chairman of Valero Energy Corp. He donated $3 million for the facility.

The rest of the cost will come from the $25.5 million general obligation bond issue approved in February 2018 by the voters of Buena Vista, Calhoun, Greene, Hamilton, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Sac, Webster and Wright counties.