A bid that came in at less than half the estimated cost of a Lombard Historical Society construction project wasn't a good deal -- it was too good to be true.
ATP Enterprise Group of Northbrook backed out earlier this month of its $120,500 bid to build a 1,200-square-foot, two-story addition to the carriage house behind the Victorian Cottage Museum, saying it erred in estimating project costs.
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"It wasn't a complete shock to us by any stretch because their bid was considerably lower than we expected," said Jeanne Schultz Angel, the historical society's executive director.
Surprising or not, the removal of the bid left the historical society scrambling because of a tight deadline to complete the construction. The project, which will add new exhibit space, classrooms and accessible restrooms to the carriage house, must be complete by Dec. 31 to keep funding from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources' Public Museum Capital Grant.
"Time became a real factor for us," Schultz Angel said. "We have to have a certificate of occupancy before the end of the year in order to not lose our $70,000 grant from the state."
A new proposal approved last week is expected to get the work done by November, but with a higher price tag. Aljer Construction of Lombard will build the addition for $209,000, a cost that remains below the engineer's estimate and budgeted amount of $315,000.
"We're thrilled to have a local company working on this," Schultz Angel said.
The company will be paid up front by the village of Lombard. The historical society then will repay the village once work is complete and sufficient funds are raised.
The village also is supporting the project by paying $81,000 that will not be reimbursed for property improvements including utilities, sidewalks and curb cuts and fire and burglar alarms.