A Couple Decisions on High Tech

Over the past week, two projects with ties to Pittsburgh’s new tech economy moved a step closer to construction. Carnegie Mellon selected Mascaro Construction as construction manager for the new Tata Consulting Services building on Forbes Ave. The $15 million, 40,000 sq. ft. new building will be at the site of CMU’s electric vehicle charging station, across from Panther Hollow.

In Lawrenceville, Franjo Construction was selected to build the $12 million, 65,000 sq. ft. new robotics research building at the RIDC’s Lawrenceville Technology Center.

Last week’s results from the bidding of the new middle school at Ringgold School District show that the public market is still very competitive. Like earlier projects at Thomas Jefferson and South Fayette, the Ringgold Middle School came in under budget at $33.8 million, with Hudson Construction from Sharon as the low general contractor. Two of the three low generals were from outside Pittsburgh. That’s a sign that the competitiveness won’t end soon. Those that remember the bidding market after the crash in 2009 may want to re-think the public market. Bid lists were measured in the dozens and a number of the projects went to Ohio or eastern PA contractors. Few ended well. Until Harrisburg comes to its senses and the K-12 market gets back on its feet – at least a year away – it might be best to tread lightly in the public market. Thank goodness the private development sector is still strong in Pittsburgh.

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