Contractor prepares shoring, steel bid packages

Tacoma Convention Center Tacoma, Wash.
August 11, 2010

As demolition subcontractor R.W. Rhine, Tacoma, concludes its demolition, hazardous materials abatement and historic salvage work for 16 existing structures on the project site, design architect MulvannyG2 Architecture, Bellevue, Wash., and architect of record Merritt + Pardini, Tacoma, have submitted 100% complete design development documents to both the City of Tacoma and general contractor M.A. Mortenson Co., Minneapolis.

According to Suzanne Smith, preconstruction services manager with M.A. Mortenson, the documents will be carefully checked over a two-week period, and costs of materials and building systems for the 200,000-sq.-ft. convention center will be estimated.

"We will be looking at the documents specifically for three things: contructability issues, whether the design meets the previously intended budget, and to make sure there aren't any holes in the project scope," says Smith. She says the city will review the documents to ensure the design meets its programmatic needs.

"It's typical that as a project develops and gets more defined, costs can creep up a bit," says Smith. "But the design team has been keeping me fully informed, so I don't anticipate any surprises."

Steel, shoring bid packages

Once the design documents are OK'd by both groups, bid packages will be prepared by M.A. Mortenson for shoring and mass excavation work, as well as for the early steel and concrete work. Smith expects shoring/excavation bids to be out late this month, while steel/concrete work will be out for bid in August. As bid solicitations go out, Smith says the city will simultaneously apply for building permits to perform this work.

"It will be a typical public bid process where we will advertise the jobs in the local papers and publications," says Smith. "Each package will be out to bid for a minimum of 20 days, per state law, and then the bids, which are submitted in a sealed envelope, will be opened publicly, with the lowest 'responsive' bid winning the contract." She says that a "responsive" bid must meet several requirements, including having a notarized bid bond.

Tower remains questionable

As design development of the convention center moves forward, its proposed 400-ft.-tall, steel-mesh tower — which is not part of the project's $89.7 million budget — remains a question mark, as funding efforts struggle. The city has tried everything from selling naming rights to leasing the upper portions of the tower for radio and TV broadcast equipment, but there have been no takers so far. The building team, however, remains optimistic that the funding needed to design and construct the pyramid-shaped tower will be raised by the end of the year.

While the convention center project is in its infancy stage, the city has reached a milestone in its master plan for downtown with the July 6 completion of Arthur Erickson's $48 million Museum of Glass, which sits on the revitalized city waterfront. The fine art museum features a tilted, 90-ft.-tall stainless-steel cone and connects to downtown via a Bridge of Glass.

         
 

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