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The Problem & The Solution; ATION DESK AUG1 5 1993 Established 1764 ARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARX giaillERIEPOV” Volume CLV, Number 227 Copyright 1993, The Hartford Courant Co.

The Problem & The Solution; ATION DESK AUG1 5 1993 Established 1764 ARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARX giaillERIEPOV”
Volume CLV, Number 227 Copyright 1993, The Hartford Courant Co.
Project description
4t liattiotb itutta • – ATION DESK AUG1 5 1993 Established 1764 ARTFORD PUBLIC LIBRARX giaillERIEPOV”
Volume CLV, Number 227 Copyright 1993, The Hartford Courant Co.
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Sunday, August 15, 1993
*1N/5/6/7 Newsstand 51.50
Missteps make DOT building a costly ‘pink’ elephant
By BILL KEVENEY Courant Staff Writer • ,• The problem With the new Department of Transportation headquarters in Newington is not that the numbers don’t add up. It’s that they add up to too much. . (Too much time, as in lagging more than a y4ar behind its scheduled ppening in Au-gust 1992. goo much inoney, as in going atleast $4.5 over the projects. original $43 n budget even after exhausting a $4 Ilion, built-1n contingency account. oo much room,’ as in ctistom-building a dquarters that is now too large for the 1.¦ t
he
agency it will house, because of staffing cutbacks in the last two years. . Too much change, as in running up near-ly 400 “change orders” — construction or design modifications that added more than $3 million to the cost of the project’s largest phase. More than $1 million of that,increase resulted from fire and building code changes that required completed walls, floors and ceilings to be ripped out and reinstalled. As for blame, there may not be too much. But there’s certainly enough to go around. The state Department of Public Works, the project’s manager, blames the general contractor, Saturn Construction Co. of Val–

halla, N.Y., which it fired in April. The state Office of Policy and Manage-ment, which asked the state attorney gener-al to investigate possible state management irregularities, blames thepublii works de-partment, which was relieved of its project management duties two days after it fired Saturn. Saturn blames the construction manag-er, Dimeo Construction Co., and the state DOT. The firm has filed an arbitration claim seeking at’ least $10 million more from the state. A multimillion-dollar claim accusing the state of wrongful termination will fol-low, a Saturn official said: Any amount Saturn receives would ‘further, bloat the

project’s price tag. The attorney general’s office, which was asked to determine whether proper proce-dures and laws were followed, isn’t saying if it plans to blame anyone — or• what sanctions, if any, could result if wrongdoing were found — only that no conclusions are imminent. Investigators -reportedly are studying the, change orders, including a $480,000 payment in March, a source saitl. The building was planned as the DO TT headquarters. But an investigation by.The Courant has discovered that the five-story, glass and pink-stone structure on the Berlin Turnpike may ultimately stand for some-thing unintended: as a monument to what
can go wrong when the state erects a btild-; . ing. i • ¦ –
– .• Things weren’t supposed to turnout this way when then-DOT Commissioner 3. Wit-ham Burns proposed-the a64.000-square-: ;foot buildirig five years ago, sayingit,;yOuld reduce the state’s leasing costs and ‘rnalte; the department more. efficient bYbringirit’ ‘together operations,c4spersedpisloca, lions. Land was cheap,;sinci the54.-acre sit had been purchased primarily with federa Please see Building, Page A
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