Coronavirus Updates

POSTED:  March 24, 2020

 

ATTN:  Contractors, Consultants and Designers,

Appalachian State University has been monitoring the impacts of the COVID-19 situation to our University construction projects. It is increasingly clear that our commitment to health and safety requires us to take further steps to help reduce the possible transmission of COVID-19. We understand that protecting our staff, as well as your employees, and the successful completion of our projects are our top priorities. Appalachian State greatly appreciates all of the precautionary procedures that your firms have implemented to date. To further enhance your procedures, along with following State Construction Office guidance, the guidelines below will be followed until Governor Cooper lifts the State of Emergency:

  1. Please be advised that capital projects have NOT been suspended. However, Appalachian State Project Managers will limit their on-campus presence to essential tasks.
  2. Nearly all design, field, construction and progress meetings will be performed virtually;  if onsite meetings/inspections are required, then no more than five (5) people will be in a room at one time, while maintaining proper social distancing.
  3. Pre-Bid meetings be performed in two phases.
  • Pre-Bid Phase I - Appalachian State and the designer will have electronic drawings disbursed to all interested parties prior to an open site inspection. A date will be set for an open site inspection when the contractors will have access to inspect the site.
  • Pre-Bid Phase II - the following day, Appalachian State and the designer will host a virtual meeting to review the drawings with all interested parties and address any questions that may arise.
Bid Opening procedures will be included as part of the Instructions to Bidders via an addendum.
  • The addendum shall be sent out at least seven (7) days prior to bid opening.
  • Bid time will be officially closed at 2:00 PM and all hand-delivered bids shall be dropped off at Appalachian State's Facilities Annex, 2458 Hwy 105 South, Boone NC.
  • Bidders may also submit bids via USPS/UPS/FEDEX sent to the attention of the Project Manager. It is the bidder's responsibility to ensure that the bid arrives before the bid closing time of 2:00 PM.
  • Bidders shall sign across the sealed flap on the envelope to ensure no tampering prior to the bid opening.
  • Bidders who are interested in observing the bid opening via ZOOM conference shall also provide an email address on the envelope. The Project Manager will then send an invitation with hyperlink via email to the ZOOM conference to all bidders who have provided an email address. Access to the Zoom conference will begin at 2:45 PM.
  • Unless otherwise announced, bid Openings shall occur at The Facilities Annex Conference Room at 3:00 PM.
  • In-person attendance at bid openings will be limited to one Design firm representative and two Appalachian State Facilities representatives (Project Manager & Director). Any bidder wishing to be present at the time and place of the bid opening must notify the Project Manager one (1) week in advance so a larger conference room can be arranged for proper social distancing. The person opening bids will show each envelope so that all observers on the ZOOM conference can see that envelopes have not been tampered with.
  • Questions that arise during Bid Opening that cannot be answered by personnel on site can be telephoned and asked of Appalachian State's Director of Planning, Design & Construction: Jeff Pierce, (828)262-4169
  • The bid opening will be recorded via ZOOM and stored on the local computer.
All designer selection interviews will be performed via ZOOM.

Finally, we request that you provide notices of any updates/changes in your current daily operations by your respective firms during this emergency event. Also, please notify the university in regards to any and all project challenges each firm is facing, (i.e., material delays/shortages, and loss of manpower). This information will help us work together to lessen the impact to personal safety and to more accurately project construction timelines. To be successful we must continue to provide timely communications between our departments as the situation changes.

Respectfully,

 

Jeff Pierce

Planning, Design and Construction Director