Museum accepts bids for historical building’s rehab

HARLINGEN — Officials with the Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum are relieved to be moving forward on seeking a carpenter to construct exhibit cases and platforms for the historical building on the museum grounds.

“This morning I got the last quote from the carpenters that we had approached about the construction of the platforms and the panels for the historical building,” Joel Humphries, arts and entertainment director for the city, told the museum board. “That’s our three — we’re ready to go forward.”

Museum officials had been frustrated at finding skilled carpenters to perform the work because practically all in the area were busy working on flood-damaged homes. They acknowledged that was the correct priority, but were impatient to begin a key component of the long-running upgrade of the historical building.

“The best number that we got was from Herman Gonzalez in the amount of $13,500,” Humphries added. “We had another quote which came in at a total of $21,600 from J.D. Smith. We also approached Sharpline (Sharpline Coatings LLC) about this and Sharpline elected not to respond to the quote or to the request for the quote.”

Humphries again told the board of difficulties in receiving bids due to ongoing flood repair work.

“But we have our three, and the one who elected not to respond counts as a third,” he told the board. “So that’s where we are with that. I expect those POs (purchase orders) probably to get issued at the beginning of next week.”

Once the city manager signs off on the contract for the carpentry work for the display cases, panels and more, Humphries said the funds — and the work — could begin right away.

“Those funds could be available as early as Tuesday afternoon,” he said. “Once we do that, the PO will be issued and we’ll be able to start work.”

The museum is trying to finish out the interior of its historical building, formerly the Air Police Squadron and brig of the Harlingen Air Force Base, which is one of several buildings on the museum grounds. The building houses the permanent collection of Harlingen and Texas historical objects and photos.