Losing bidder sues Public Works Board, delaying Nevada State College’s first building

Everything was finally looking up for the Nevada State College’s first building. The school managed to fight for funding, two contractors said they could build it for $5 million under budget, and a groundbreaking was set for April 19.

But now the date has yet again been put on hold after one of the losing bidders sued the state Public Works Board over issues relating to the bidding process.

Rafael Construction Co. was able to get a temporary injunction granted in the case last week, halting plans to construct Nevada State College’s Academic and Student Services building on the school’s campus in Henderson.

The building has been planned since the college’s inception but has been delayed by rising construction costs. Meanwhile, the college rents building space in downtown Henderson and in an old vitamin factory near Nevada State Drive and U.S. Highway 95.

“We’re hoping somehow it gets done quickly,” NSC President Fred Maryanski said of the lawsuit. “Whoever the right company is, we just want the work to get started.”

The lawsuit filed in District Court claims that the Public Works Board violated state law by requiring bidders use a particular brand for the building’s laboratory cabinetry.

Public Works Board Manager Gus Nuñez said the board requested the cabinetry match the specifications of those made by Fisher Hamilton,not require cabinets by the company.

Nuñez said if bidders wanted to use a different brand, they had to get it approved before bidding opened Feb. 22. He said Rafael Construction didn’t do that.

“It’s not something that was obscure or in the fine print somewhere,” Nuñez said.

Nevada Deputy Attorney General Anne Williams said the case didn’t have merit and that she would try to get the injunction cast aside next week.

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