Bid to demolish Hoover High approved, but losing bidder to protest

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Kanawha County Board of Education approved at its meeting Thursday a contract for the demolition of Herbert Hoover High School, but one organization that submitted a lower bid plans to protest the decision.

The approved bid was submitted by Rodney Loftis & Son Contracting for $382,777. FEMA will provide the state School Building Authority with the funding to complete the project, and the state agency accepts applications regarding work.

Herbert Hoover High School was damaged in the June 2016 flood. Students take lessons in portable classrooms installed on the property of Elkview Middle School.

Reclaim Company LLC submitted a bid for $339,000, but their bid was rejected for what in-house counsel Beth Lebow said was described as an “incomplete form” regarding subcontractors.

“Reclaim Company indicated in their bid documents that they would be self-performing the entire project, meaning no subcontractors would be used,” she said. “(The SBA is) claiming that Reclaim did not receive the contract because that form was incomplete, but we’re not using subcontractors.”

Lebow spoke before the school board prior to the vote about this concern, noting under state code the lowest bid must be approved. Board member Ryan White recommended amending the motion requiring the state School Building Authority to approve the matter, which the board approved.

White said after the meeting the authority is responsible for the project, and the board of education is solely responsible for approving the bid.

“I also don’t want to endanger the project from being completed, so that’s why I wanted to move it along,” he said. “If we don’t do what the SBA wants us to do, then we may not be able to get the demolition of Hoover done.”

Lebow said Reclaim Company will protest the bid “as soon as they award the bid.”

“It’s going to drag it out,” she said.