Window replacement proposals at 20 Federal Place are below the estimate

By David Skolnick


After making adjustments to a project because initial proposals to replace windows at the city-owned 20 Federal Place came in over estimate, the city got it right the second time.

Three of the four proposals opened Monday for the windows job came in under the $300,000 estimate with Alex Downie & Sons, a Youngstown business, submitting the apparent low bid of $275,000.

The project replaces all of the windows on the fourth and fifth floors of 20 Federal Place, located at 20 W. Federal St. Those two floors house VXI Global Solutions, a call center with about 700 employees and the downtown office building’s largest employer.

The two proposals opened April 5 were over the $300,000 estimate.

Under city law, Youngs-town isn’t permitted to award contracts for work if the proposals exceed the estimate.

So city officials rewrote the project’s specifications to reduce costs by changing the window installation method and not including the replacement of other windows at 20 Federal Place not located on the two VXI floors.

The other windows were a separate part of the four proposals, but won’t be done as adding the cost of that — $55,000 from Downie — would push the cost over the $300,000 limit, said Charles Shasho, deputy director of the city’s public works department.

The method of replacing the windows from the interior rather than the exterior is cheaper in part because the amount of heavy equipment needed is less, Shasho said.

The work should start shortly and take up to 120 days to finish.

The windows as well as replacing the three elevators in the building’s main lobby were included in contracts the city signed with VXI in 2009 and 2010 to get the call-center company to locate and then expand at the building.

VXI sent a letter in July 2012 to Mayor Charles Sammarone about the two projects. Sammarone, who took over as mayor in August 2011, said he was unaware of the city’s contractual obligations. But he had planned to make improvements to the building’s elevator.

Murphy and Schindler Elevator Corp. of Cleveland has been working on the elevators-replacement project since January under a $1,169,500 contract.

The first elevator, the middle one, should be done in August with the other two finished by January 2014, city officials say.

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