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Hawkeye Community College gets bids on second try for bookstore project

Dan Gillen

Gillen

WATERLOO — Hawkeye Community College opened bids again this week to renovate a portion of the Brock Student Center into a bookstore, but this time contractors showed some interest in the project.

Officials previously held a bid opening in May. However, nobody had submitted a proposal when the deadline passed.

On Tuesday, four companies submitted bids. The college’s board of trustees at its meeting later in the day approved a $243,342 contract with Peters Construction of Waterloo, the lowest of the bids.

“We had given the board an estimate of $250,000, so it was a little under the estimate there,” said Dan Gillen, Hawkeye’s vice president of administration and finance. The difference in the bids “was about a $50,000 range,” he noted, with the highest coming in at $297,397. “(Board members) were pleased that we had bids this time and that the bids came in in the neighborhood of our estimate.”

The project is essentially the same as it was under the previous request for proposals.

It will consist of light demolition and renovation of the north end of the student center, where there is a stage near the cafeteria seating. There will also be some reconfiguring of an adjacent conference room and projector screen location. A glass wall will separate the store from the cafeteria.

“The big difference was that we extended the date for the completion of the project,” said Gillen. Originally, officials had set a completion date of Aug. 6 so the store would be ready for the fall semester.

“The availability of the (construction) materials was going to be an issue,” he noted, with that original date. “Now, with this bid, we’ve pushed that back to December.”

Barnes & Noble College will operate the bookstore. It has a presence on campus now, working out of a conference room at the student center since this spring.

The University of Northern Iowa had operated a bookstore on the Hawkeye campus. But last year, the university consolidated the site in the Hawkeye Center building with its Cedar Falls campus bookstore.

Money for the project will come from the college’s plant fund as well as a capital investment from Barnes & Noble College.

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Education Reporter

I cover local schools and higher education for The Courier, where I’ve been a reporter for the past two decades. I’m a Minnesota native and have previously worked for newspapers there and in Illinois.

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