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Construction management cost up
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The Ceres City Council upped its contract with a construction management firm overseeing the building of the new Ceres Fire Station #4 and the Community Center.

The city tapped Harris and Associates in May to oversee construction of three projects simultaneously. They are:

• Ceres Fire Station 4 at Fowler and Mitchell roads;

• Ceres Community Center in downtown Ceres;

• Expansion of an existing maintenance shop building.

The city and Harris agreed on a price of $681,107. But a number of circumstances have changed the bottom line. First, the city is having to redesign and this delay the shop project, resulting in a decrease to the contract by $125,168. Secondly, because of a late start to Community Center construction an additional $161,708 may be needed if construction cannot be completed within an 18-month period.

Thirdly, the contract did not cover a number of complications linked to a series of building problems with the fire station. The firm asked for an additional $42,870 to cover services outside of the contract. Problems also delayed the contractor's completion of the job, adding another seven weeks worth of supervising at a cost of $18,130.

Among the problems were excessive mold on framing lumber which prompted Harris to act as a resolution manager between city and contractor. Harris also took great pains to reconcile the calculations used in the manufacturing of roof trusses. The city also made some modifications, such as changing the roll-up door height as the building neared completion and changing the inground fuel storage tanks. Harris also had to coordinate PG&E and AT&T design to get services into the building, something which the city hadn't done.

The contract needed to be adjusted upward because of Harris' additional time dealing with the problems.

Harris is tracking the time spent on dealing with problems caused attributed to the architect, engineer, consultants and contractor.