The $60 million job

Business people in this region are pretty conservative by nature (that’s why so many of them last so long), so it it’s taking a little while to have the feeling of recovery sink in. But the action in the market right now is pretty encouraging, especially if you’re a general contractor working in the $60 million sweet spot.

 There haven’t been many big jobs out that have been more than $50 million since the recession started but there will be a handful of them decided between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The long-awaited $90 millionMt.LebanonHigh School project is back out for re-bid, due Dec. 7. The job came in $15 million over budget when it originally bid as a single prime construction contract. The school board ultimately went for the siren song of separate prime packages (there are seven now) and the promise of lower bids because that cuts out the markup from the generals. That is an unfortunate assumption that will be reinforced when the new bids open because of the significant scope changes that were part of the redesign since the first bid. This is a district with a checkered history in terms of their construction programs, architects, CM’s, claims, lawsuits and contractors going out of business while working there. Multiple contract jobs just don’t go smoothly. It’s hard to imagine this one will but there haven’t been many $90 million jobs (although there are a few $60 million jobs) so there should be no shortage of bidders.

 CMU will interview the construction management finalists before Thanksgiving for its $65 millionNano-Bio-EnergyTechnologyCenter. Jendoco, Mosites/Gilbane joint venture and Turner were selected for the interviews. The construction manager will work through the deisgn phase of the job next year and construction will start in early 2013.

 Awaiting the results of interviews are the finalists – Mascaro, PJ Dick, Massaro and Mosites – for the $60 millionCardinalWuerlNorthCatholicHigh School. This project is still in the design development phase and fundraising success will determine when construction will start.

 Also in the early stages of development is the VA Outpatient Clinic that is being offered for developer/design/build proposals. The $60 million project will be built on one of four parcels northwest ofButlerPA.Developers Oxford Development,Cambridge, Burton Katzman, Zenith Systems, Cedarwood Properties and Gilbane Development have put together teams to pursue the project. The VA will take first proposals Dec. 14.

 The general piece of the Mt. Lebanon project should be right in the $60 million range and if so, that makes four $60 million opportunities at the same time. Some contractors will get a nice stocking stuffer to start the New Year off on the right foot.

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