CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Only one company submitted an expression of interest Tuesday for a state contract to design and install Disney-like upgrades to the State Museum, featuring animatronics and interactive audio-visual displays.
The lone bidder is RSL Commercial Architecture of Cincinnati -- the same firm that designed the current museum that opened in 2009, and the same firm that produced a 114-page overview of the proposed enhancements -- including a talking, animatronic cardinal named "Red" that is to serve as a tour guide, appearing at several points along the museum's "show path."
"RSL is in a unique position to complete this work quickly," the company's proposal notes, pointing out that RSL did the architectural and engineering work on the 2009 museum construction, and did the design documents for the proposed upgrades.
"Our design team is intact from our previous work on the museum and (are) prepared to extend and improve on the excellent exhibits already in place, while introducing some technology and show elements that go above and beyond the original," it states.
Caryn Gresham, deputy commissioner of the state Division of Culture and History, said Tuesday that division officials had not had an opportunity to review RSL's bid package, and could not comment on it.
"We will follow whatever procedures or process the Purchasing Division tells us," she said of finalizing a contract.
As an expression of interest, bidders were not required to include cost estimates in their submissions.
Bidders were asked to submit proposals for one of the areas of the museum to be upgraded, the Wheeling docks display. RSL notes that the current scene is a static display featuring a mural and artifacts representing baggage and cargo.