O&G Gets $70M Contract for Naugatuck High School Renovation

Naugatuck High School in Naugatuck, CT
February 8, 2012

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved the Torrington-based company to take on the job of construction manager, per recommendations by both the NHS Building Committee and Kaestle Boos Associates Inc.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses voted unanimously to give a $70 million contract to O&G Industries, as the company will now assume the role of construction manager over the renovation of .

O&G, a Torrington-based construction firm that has done multiple projects throughout the state, placed the lowest bid out of three firms that submitted applications in response to the job posting, explained Burgess Robert Neth, who is also the chairman of the NHS Building Committee.

Neth said the committee went with O&G over the other two applicants — Pike Company and Turner Construction — in part because of the company’s experience. O&G has done 30 renovate-to-new school projects — meaning bringing schools up to state and federal code — as well as oversaw 11 synthetic field projects.

At the same time, O&G placed the lowest bid out of the three, as Pike submitted a bid of $70.4 million and Turner $71.5 million.

In doing the NHS renovation, the company has set a budget of $66.5 million, which will go directly toward project costs, hiring subcontractors and all aspects relating to the building process. And the company said it will stick to that budget, which is something borough officials are stringent about.

According to the bid form O&G submitted, the company’s profit will be in a lump sum general conditions payment of $2.9 million and a construction manager’s fee of $868,520, or just over 3 percent of the project’s total cost.

The $70 million cost fulfills the majority of the total $81 million price tag the NHS renovation is expected to cost. The borough . Because it’s a renovate-to-new project, Naugatuck is anticipating getting the majority of the costs reimbursed, with the final cost to taxpayers being .

So far, roughly $3 million has been allocated to pay Kaestle Boos Associates Inc., the architectural firm that is behind the design of the entire building. The remaining $9 million is in soft costs, meaning items like storage, irrigation, zoning, food services and other areas.

“Our initial goal is [that] we do not want to exceed $81 million, that’s the bottom line,” Neth told the borough board during the meeting at . “And as commissioner and chairman, we will not exceed $81 million. As a matter of fact, our goal is to be below $81 million because we have a long term future for the rest of the school system that we need to look at.”

O&G has said it can do the project in 36 months, documentation showed. If the company starts by this fall, then the project would then finish by by 2015, which has often been cited as potential completion date.

As a construction manager, the company now will hire its own subcontractors to conduct the actual renovation, explained Freddy Khericha, architect for Kaestle Boos Associates Inc. Khericha said the role is different from a general contractor, wheras a general contractor would be involved in the actual construction of the project itself. A construction manager oversees the project and its subcontractors, and will hold all the contracts for those workers, Khericha said.

Meanwhile, Kaestle Boos will continue to operate as the project architect, drawing up the plans on the building’s structure and appearance. In response to a number of questions from burgesses, Khericha made it clear that O&G will continue to report to the NHS Building Committee on a monthly basis.

If O&G turns out to spend less that the projected $66.5 million budget on subcontractors then that money is returned to the borough and is not profit for O&G.

Khericha further vouched for O&G saying the company was also in charge of multiple school projects in Watertown over the past five years. He highlighted how Watertown High School, a facility often cited as being an example of a renovated school, was $600,000 under budget after O&G tallied up the costs following the renovation. 

Read the original story on the Naugatuck Patch website.