Council Approves PGAL Contract, Despite Objections From Talianchich

November 11, 2008

Despite opposition from West U. Councilman Michael Talianchich, council approved Monday night a contract not to exceed $955,000 with architectural firm PGAL for design, construction documents, bidding and construction administration for the new Colonial Park pool and building, Recreation Center pool and building and redevelopment of the Community Center.

West U. residents approved the redevelopment with a $13.8 million bond proposal on Nov. 4. Talianchich preferred a design/build contract, while the PGAL contract was a construction manager at-risk. A design/build contract includes a single entity as designer and builder, who then oversees the subcontractors and suppliers. Talianchich said this type of arrangement was the cheapest.

The PGAL contract, construction manager at-risk, separates the design engineers, PGAL, from a construction manager, who oversees the subcontractors and suppliers. Both the designers and the construction manager report to the city. The city will send out proposals for a construction manager for the projects.

City Manager Michael Ross told council that this method gives the city more control over design decisions, transparency in actual costs and the ability to control scheduling for the project.

“In the private sector, architects get so much less than what PGAL is getting here,” said Talianchich.

“(There is) not a question in our mind that the construction manager at-risk gave us the best overall product for cost control and expediency and keeping control over each component,” said Ross.

“With all due respect…I am from the private sector, and I find these fees exorbitant, and I don’t think we are serving the city well by not getting some competition in there. I think.”

Mayor Bob Kelly told Talianchich that he was “beating a dead horse” and warned that is the city was “penny wise and a pound foolish” there was the risk of ending up with substandard buildings like the police station, which has experienced many structural issues.

“I’ve been building since I was a kid,” said Talianchich.

“You are in the business of building homes, not commercial structures,” countered Councilwoman Phyllis Cohen.

The contract includes services not usually incorporated such as the geological and environmental surveys, eliminating the need for the city to find surveyors for the study. A tentative timeline for the projects has the Rec. Center building demolished quickly and an enclosed pool ready for use by next winter.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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