University Oklahoma Stadium Injunction Sought
Metal fabrication firm HME filed a petition Oct. 5 claiming that despite being the lowest bidder for the renovation of the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, the university gave the project to another bidder, according to court documents obtained by the Norman Transcript.
HME maintains that by selecting the second lowest bidder, W&W Steel, OU and general contractor Flintco violated the state’s Public Competitive Bidding Act. “Rather than simply award the contract to HME as the lowest responsible bidder, Flintco’s actions clearly indicate an intent to show favoritism and circumvent the mandatory requirements of the act,” the petition says.
“This is a bold-faced favoritism, which is prohibited by Oklahoma law.” In an announcement regarding the award of the project to W&W, the school noted it was selected because of its “experience in stadium construction projects.”
But HME contends experience in stadium construction project was not listed as a requirement for the project and that the university simply preferred W&W.
“Protecting the integrity of the competitive bidding system is critical. If potential bidders on public works projects lose confidence in integrity of the system and believe that the public body’s discretion can be used as a way to manipulate the awarding of contracts to favored contractors, established bidders will no longer invest the time and resources necessary to bid public work,” HME wrote. “The public will then lose the benefit of the lowest competitive price. Thus, the public policy concerns override the interests of the parties in this matter.” A hearing on the matter had not been set at press time.