More contractors show interest in public school cooling projects

James Campbell High School

The Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) announced Friday that a number of qualified contractors have answered the call to apply for heat abatement work in an effort to cool more classrooms.

Since March, the number of prequalified contractors has increased from 18 to 36 as HIDOE prepares to put projects back out to bid.

“We’re very excited. Obviously we were very disappointed with the first round, when we only had 18,” said Dann Carlson, assistant superintendent, Office of School Facilities and Support Services. “We took a look at that. We decided to reopen that. We have now prequalified a total of 36 companies. A lot of those companies too are the larger-name companies that again have the capacity to do the projects we need to do.”

Last month, the department announced a possibly delay in its goal of implementing cooling measures in 1,000 classrooms by the end of the year as contractors submitted bids up to six times more than what was expected.

Carlson previously told KHON2 one contractor submitted a bid of $135,000 for each classroom using photovoltaic-powered air conditioners. Preliminary estimates ranged between $20,000 and $30,000.

Now, Carlson says, the department is making changes, including expanding the amount of time each contractor has to develop a bid.

“Of course we’re anticipating more realistic bids. There were a number of things that were leading up to this,” Carlson said. “In the month of June, those first bids were opened. The market was flooded. We, for example, in June had $180 million worth of projects out for bid. This month, the month of July, we only have $1.5 million worth of projects, other projects not having to do with heat abatement, from the DOE. Again, a big difference there.”

State Rep. Matthew LoPresti, who represents the Ewa Beach area, previously told KHON2 there were complaints from contractors that the bid specifications for a $20,000 project were up to 100 pages long, which makes submitting a bid expensive and complicated.

Carlson says that’s also changing.

“A lot of those are federally required things that are in our bid specifications,” he said. “What we have done though is we’ve combined some of the projects. We’ve taken some of our smaller projects and instead of just doing one portable, as we did in the initial round of bids, we’re combining that portable with the rest of the work were doing on the rest of the campus.”

Projects have been identified at 33 schools using a variety of AC products including photovoltaic air conditioning (PVAC) with both PV and electrical power, PVAC with battery power, and standard split system AC with full electrical power.

The Department is required by law to minimize the amount of electrical usage increase as much as possible and add passive cooling. This is one reason HIDOE is looking at various energy efficiency measures.

HIDOE will be meeting with the qualified contractors to review project specifications and the timeline for bidding. These contractors include:

Round 1 Qualifying Contractors

  1. Able Electric, Inc.
  2. All Maintenance and Repair, LLC
  3. Allied Pacific Builders, Inc.
  4. Arisumi Brothers, Inc.
  5. CC Engineering & Construction, Inc.
  6. Contech Engineering, Inc.
  7. Economy Plumbing & Sheet Metal, Inc.
  8. Greenpath Technologies, Inc.
  9. Honolulu Roofing Company, Inc.
  10. Island Wide A/C Service, LLC
  11. MJ Construction, Inc.
  12. Pacific Blue Construction LLC
  13. Rambaud Electric, LLC
  14. S&M Sakamoto, Inc.
  15. Starcom Builders, Inc.
  16. Tory’s Roofing & Waterproofing, Inc.
  17. Banks Pacific Construction, Inc.
  18. A’s Mechanical

Round 2 Qualifying Contractors

  1. Arita-Poulson General Contracting, LLC
  2. BCP Construction of HI, Inc.
  3. Brian’s Contracting, Inc.
  4. Central Construction, Inc.
  5. Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii, Inc.
  6. Elite Pacific Construction, Inc.
  7. F&H Construction
  8. HBM Acquisitions, LLC dba Hawaiian Building Maintenance
  9. HSI Mechanical, Inc.
  10. Index Builders, Inc.
  11. Isemoto Contracting, Co., Ltd.
  12. LTM, Corporation dba Civil-Mechanical Contractor
  13. Nan, Inc.
  14. Performance Systems, Inc.
  15. Ralph S. Inouye Co., Ltd.
  16. RevoluSun, LLC
  17. Su-Mo Builders, Inc.
  18. Shioi Construction, Inc.

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