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R. S. NOONAN v. YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT. (06/30/60)

June 30, 1960

R. S. NOONAN, INC., APPELLANT,
v.
YORK SCHOOL DISTRICT.



Appeal, No. 8, May T., 1960, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of York County, Jan. T., 1958, No. 5, in case of R. S. Noonan, Inc. v. The School District of the City of York et al. Decree affirmed.

COUNSEL

James E. Buckingham, with him Arthur Markowitz, and Markowitz & Kagen, for appellant.

Donn I. Cohen, with him Ports, May, Beers & Blakey, and Cohen, Senft and Rubin, for Buchart Engineering Corp., appellee.

K. F. Ralph Rochow, for School District of City of York, appellee.

Before Jones, C.j., Bell, Musmanno, Jones, Bok and Eagen, JJ.

Author: Musmanno

[ 400 Pa. Page 392]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE MUSMANNO.

Prior to October 31, 1957, the School District of the City of York advertised for competitive sealed bids from contractors wishing to vie for the erection of a new school building to be known as the Hannah Penn Junior High School, all bids to be submitted no later than 4 p.m. of that day. When the bids were opened that evening, R. S. Noonan, Inc., was revealed to be the lowest bidder. However, on November 7, 1957, the Board of Directors of the School District, by unanimous vote, rejected all the submitted bids and authorized its architect, the Buchart Engineering Corporation, to advertise for new bids which would be opened on November 30, 1957.

On that date, the contracting firm of I. Reindollar & Son emerged as the lowest bidder and was awarded the contract for the erection of the new school building. R. S. Noonan, Inc., then brought a bill of complaint in the Court of Common Pleas of York County, praying that the School District and the Buchart Engineering Corporation be ordered to award the contract for the new construction to the plaintiff and be required to pay such damages as it had suffered in the premises.

The defendants entered preliminary objections and as a result the plaintiff filed an amended complaint, to which the defendants offered still further preliminary objections which, insofar as they are here material, were in the nature of a demurrer. The court sustained the demurrer and the plaintiff appealed.

[ 400 Pa. Page 393]

The plaintiff contends that the School District of York was guilty of bad faith, arbitrary action, and abuse of discretion in rejecting its bid. The plaintiff submits that its bid was not unreasonably high, it was within the amount appropriated by the board for the project, there was no collusion among the bidders, and the project was not to be abandoned, postponed or altered in any way. Thus, it argues, there was no justification for rejection of its bid, with those of the others, and the ordering of new bids.

The plaintiff stands on the Public School Code, Act of 1949, P.L. 30, amended by Act of 1957, P.L. 775, § 751, 24 PS § 7-751(a), which provides: "All construction... upon any school building or upon any school property, made by any school district, where the entire cost, value or amount of such construction... including labor and material, shall exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000.00) shall be done under a contract or contracts to be entered into by such school district with the lowest responsible bidder, upon proper terms, after due public notice has been given asking for ...


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