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Changes in contracts save city big bucks



Published: Thu, April 28, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The board was to approve an overall savings of nearly $26,000.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER

YOUNGSTOWN -- An effort to save money by scrutinizing downtown arena contracts continues to pay dividends, says the deputy director of the city's public works department.

The board of control was expected today to approve two contract reductions, totaling $126,586, for the Youngstown Convocation Center. The board also was expected to approve three contract additions, totaling $100,661. Overall, the savings is $25,925.

The city, along with Hunt Construction Group, the Dallas-based company hired to oversee the arena's construction, and MS Consultants Inc. of Youngstown, the project's engineer, are looking at contract specifications for cost savings, said Carmen Conglose Jr., the public works deputy director.

"We're working to save money wherever we can," he said. "So far we've been able to stay on budget and on schedule. We'll continue to look for cost reductions throughout the construction process."

The board of control approved $96,693 in arena cost reductions last month.

The companies hired to do work at the arena have to agree to the cost reductions, and none has refused, Conglose said.

The two cost reductions that were to be approved today by the board of control were for VEC Systems, the Liberty company installing the arena's roof.

Roofing changes

One reduction is for $110,223 for a change in the material used for the arched part of the roof, Conglose said.

Instead of using asphalt, VEC will use thermoplastic materials, he said.

"We felt this would work well in the arched roof area, and would give us a cost savings," Conglose said. "We're building the facility in a cost-effective way without affecting quality."

The other cost reduction is for $16,363 for VEC to switch to a less expensive roofing insulation material, Conglose said.

A third change order for the roof will result in a $17,108 increase in VEC's contract.

The original proposal called for a precut piece of insulation to be placed on part of the arena's flat roof. But that material would have taken 11 to 12 weeks for delivery, Conglose said.

To save time, the city asked VEC to buy the insulation material and cut and fit it on site, he said.

"For time purposes, we did this," Conglose said. "The original plan wouldn't fit in with the schedule of the roof."

The change orders reduce VEC's original roofing contract from $893,723 to $784,245.

The board also will consider two additional change orders calling for increases today.

One is an $82,042 change-order increase to Sidley Precast Group of Thompson, Ohio.

The company is responsible for the arena's precast concrete, and extra concrete is needed to comply with the state fire code, Conglose said. The change order was recommended by MS Consultants.

The other change order is for $1,511 to Bruce and Merilees Electric Co., the New Castle, Pa., company responsible for the facility's electric service panel. The company is making minor changes to the panel at the request of MS Consultants, Conglose said.

The arena, expected to cost about $41 million, is scheduled to open in November, city officials say.

skolnick@vindy.com




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