Letter: Hopeful Arena Project Will Progress Efficiently With Team In Place

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Regarding your recent Publisher’s Column on the hiring of a Construction Manager, I personally found the column without a clear message or direction. 

Previously I had read in a past issue of your paper that Salter Pilon Architecture recommended hiring themselves as Construction Manager which I found odd, as they to my knowledge, acted as Architects only and have a long history of doing so successfully. 

I also recall that the budget for construction was around $2 million, but now it seems to be $10 million. 

Later, a further edition of your paper had information about Ball Construction being recommended which made more sense to me and I wondered what had happened in the background but was happy to see the Municipality going in the direction of hiring a long-acting Construction Manager. Perhaps the readers and residents would appreciate this cleared up in a future column?

As your column states, there is reason to have concern over a project for Northern Bruce of this scale as it is unprecedented, and many Municipalities have had issue with projects going off the rails in scope and or budget. As a now permanent resident of Northern Bruce, I have a vested interest that the RFP/RFQ process was detailed and precise in what it wanted for Services for a Construction Manager. 

I do not know our Facilities Manager but hope his past experience at larger Municipalities has exposed him to the experience required and wish him nothing but the best for his new role and the project at hand.

The standard CCDC-5b Construction Management Contract – for Services and Construction form of contract has an excellent Schedule A1 that has a variety of Services the Construction Manager can be hired for when selected in their Scope of Work including Pre-Construction Services which includes: Scheduling, Cost Estimating/ Cost Control and Constructability which should all take place in concert with the Architect and Engineering team performing their design beginning with Conceptual Design. A Construction Management approach to projects when properly contracted for the appropriate Services prevents what has been mentioned in your column of redesign and costly initiatives that do not suit the budget available and if the current contractual agreement includes the appropriate Services I am confident Ball Construction can execute the contract successfully as I personally, and my former company, have worked together for decades. 

I cannot speak to the ability of Allen-Hastings as I only know of them by word of mouth, but their website only mentions that they do Project Management and does not mention Construction Management which are different roles in Projects. Construction Management is an excellent form of project delivery on projects such as the Arena Renovation and at times receives bad publicity when the Contract and Scopes of Work were not defined properly to suit the project at hand as it is not a one size fits all form of contract. 

I was happy to see that the Municipality used a rating system to establish the best proposal as this is used by many forward-thinking Municipalities and Public Institutions in the past 10 years or so to establish the best overall proposal for projects – I commend Mr. Coleman for initiating this as there are far too many examples of Publicly funded projects having issues with low bids and 4% is not a wide margin when thinking of the overall $10 million cost. 

I look forward to positive news on this project as it moves forward and hope to see the work progress efficiently and in a timely manner now that there is a team in place.

Yours sincerely,

Mike Reid

Pike Bay