Bids still high on O.B. town hall

Second round of bids come in over budget, building committee heads back to drawing board.

The second round of bids on Oak Bluffs town hall came in over budget once again.

The bids for a general contractor to build the new Oak Bluffs town hall have come in over budget for the second time forcing the town hall building committee to come up with a plan to ask for more money.

After the initial two bids came in millions of dollars over budget in May, the building committee went back to the drawing board to make $1.7 million in cuts to the new town hall plans by eliminating the basement, removing the dormer on the upper floor, eliminating the south-side windows on the upper floor, swapping the wood floors with tile, and removing hazmat remediation and building site demolition from the general contractor’s purview, to be bid separately.

Bill McGrath, building committee chairman, received the second round of bids last Thursday which he said were competitive, but still over budget. One bid from Dellbrook JKS of Falmouth and Quincy for $9.28 million and another from Maron Construction of Providence for $9.22 million. Town voters approved a $9.88 million budget, with a projected cost of $7.8 million for the cost of the building.

“Economy for building is wild and the Island of course has to factor for additional cost built in some of which we considered,” McGrath told The Times in a phone conversation. “Evidently it’s more than the estimators can cover.”

McGrath said there are a few options for the building committee, but they are leaning toward asking town voters for an additional $1.3 million on the town warrant at the Nov. 13 special town meeting.

Despite the second round of over budget bids, McGrath said he is “optimistic” that selectmen will accept their proposal to submit a warrant article.

There is a 4 percent increase in prices every six months that the project isn’t built, McGrath said. He cited trade wars, and tariffs on materials that have increased the prices of materials like wood, aluminum, and steel. “We’re doing the best we can but it’s a very quickly moving target.”

The building committee will work on a plan at its next meeting Wednesday, Sept. 18, and present it to town selectmen Tuesday, Sept. 25.



  1. Big square boxes are vastly cheaper to build and offer the most usable space inside. Sloped roofs and dormers are wasted money. This is a time for function over form. Spend the money where it is useful. Maintenance free and energy efficient A nice solar roof sounds great way to spend/save.

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