Razing of Wilson to save cash

The contractor’s ability to get a good price on salvage materials was a factor.



YOUNGSTOWN — It looks like the city school district is getting a good deal on the razing of Woodrow Wilson High School.

The job is going to cost only one-third of the engineering estimate.

The city school board has awarded the demolition contact to Delphi Consulting Inc. of Houston, Pa., at a cost of $489,000, the lowest of 14 bidders on the job.

The engineering estimate was $1.5 million, said Anthony DeNiro Jr., assistant superintendent for school business affairs.

The bids ranged from Delphi’s low to a high of $1.8 million proposed by Empire Dismantlement Corp. of Grand Island, N.Y.

The bargain price caught school board members by surprise, with Richard Atkinson asking why there was such a wide range among bid proposals.

Demolitions are difficult to estimate, said Steve Ludwinski, senior project manager for Heery International, the school district’s construction manager for its $182 million school rebuilding program. Wilson is being replaced by a new middle school as part of that program. The middle school will be built on the site of the former high school on Gibson Street.

Salvage plays a major factor in how a company bids, he said, explaining that the low bidder in this case has been able to secure a good deal on salvaging metals from the old school. Also, the crushed concrete that will come from the demolition will be sold by the contractor for recycling as part of a green environmental program to reduce landfill waste.

Delphi also has secured a local provider for fill material for the site, which helps to reduce the company’s expenses, Ludwinski said.

Those savings have been passed on to the school district in the form of a low demolition bid, he said, noting that the lowest three bidders weren’t that far apart.

Moderalli Excavating Inc. of Poland bid $514,774 on the job and Siegel Excavating of Edinburg, Pa., bid $674,000.

The state is picking up 80 percent of the demolition cost.

Wilson, built in 1928, has a war memorial on the front of the building, and Delphi offered to salvage it at an additional cost of $5,000.

That wasn’t part of the contract approved by the school board, but DeNiro said the district will be in talks with Delphi to still save the memorial, which is to be placed in the courtyard of the new middle school.