• August 21, 2014

Council OKs builder for new Killeen fire station

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Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 4:30 am

Approval by the Killeen City Council at its regular meeting Tuesday gave city officials the go-ahead to enter into contract negotiations with a construction management company to build a new fire station.

The council unanimously approved the city’s request to negotiate a contract with Vanir Construction Management Inc. for Fire Station No. 9, which will be built on Bunny Trail, two blocks south of Stan Schlueter Loop.

John Sutton, assistant city manager, said historically, the fire department has overseen its construction projects with “mixed result.”

“It’s believed that by hiring a construction management team, it will be of greater value for both the fire department and the citizens it serves,” he said.

Reps from 3 companies interviewed

According to city documents, a panel consisting of Sutton, City Manager Glenn Morrison and Fire Chief Jerry Gardner interviewed representatives from three firms and agreed on Vanir Construction Management Inc.

“The committee scored each firm based on an established set of criteria,” Sutton said. “As a result, the committee selected Vanir Construction Inc. to perform the construction management services associated with the construction of Fire Station No. 9.”

Councilman Jose Segarra asked Sutton if this route would save the city money. Sutton said he’s “not sure” that it will, but the end product will provide cost savings in the future.

“We always like to save cost, and I’m not sure that we will,” he said. “What we will get is a more professional project, that we can be as reasonably certain as one can be, is constructed according to specifications, thereby saving us money in the long run with the product we get.”

A contract will be drafted and will go before the council for final approval.

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1 comment:

  • Alvin posted at 12:56 pm on Thu, Dec 19, 2013.

    Alvin Posts: 169

    Now I've seen it all. I personally believe the people that encompassed the 'committee' which solved all of the problems of 'having a new fire station #9 built', takes the cake. For example, who were the members of the 'committee'? Two city management employees, namely the city manager and his assistant, and the fire chief. Kinda sounds like it was preordained what the outcome was going to be, before it's first meeting - a foregone conclusion.

    Mr. Sutton, Assistant city manager now says, and I quote, 'historically, the fire department has overseen its construction projects with “mixed result.', a change from 2 days ago. He goes on to say 'It’s believed that by hiring a construction management team, it will be of greater value for both the fire department and the citizens it serves,” he said”. “We always like to save cost, and I’m not sure that we will,” he said. “What we will get is a more professional project, that we can be as reasonably certain as one can be, is constructed according to specifications, thereby saving us money in the long run with the product we get.” I like the statement 'We always like to save cost, and I’m not sure that we will,” and he said. “What we will get is a more professional project, that we can be as reasonably certain as one can be, is constructed according to specifications, thereby saving us money in the long run with the product we get.” That's like the New York Yankee's Baseball coach when interviewed and asked if he thought the Yankee's would win – to which Yogi answered – 'if we score more runs than they do, we'll win'.

    In my opinion, it's not just the specifications that determine whether or not a project is successful, but that of the design engineer, the project management team and the contractor; whether or not there are a significant number of cost over-runs and project delays. By using a project management team, will the fire department have any say in the design and construction, or are they just have to sit on the sidelines 'and take what they get'?

    No, in my personal opinion, the fact that a project management group is not necessarily the panacea it's cracked up to be, not by a long shot.