Building Bids
Rochester company receives nod to build science facility

The SUNY Construction Fund has sent a notice of bid award for nearly $46 million to The Pike Co. of Rochester, setting the next stage for a new 150,000-gross-square-foot building for the sciences and engineering.

Chart depicting areas of science construction and renovation.“This is a huge milestone for a project that’s been in the planning for 10 years with the sciences planning group and in the design phase for two years,” said Tom Simmonds, associate vice president for facilities. “To see the bricks and mortar come out of the ground will be very exciting for the campus and community.

“This is going to be a signature building,” he said.

Site work already has created a platform for Pike to begin raising the new portion of the sciences and engineering complex. In two other, separate bids to be awarded, the new construction will wrap around a fully renovated Piez Hall and link to a refurbished and expanded Wilber Hall for the School of Education.

Simmonds has said one of the many positive community impacts of the complex and associated projects will be more than 350 construction jobs.

The Pike Co., a 137-year-old full-service construction firm with long experience in buildings for higher education, bid $45.99 million for the project, which will feature state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, spaces for close collaboration across disciplines, and a soaring atrium with a cafe and a new planetarium.

“We’re really excited we had 11 large general construction companies bid the project,” Simmonds said. “It was a very tight bid, and all of them came in under the estimate. It was a very positive bidding environment with the way the economy was.”

Pike’s bid came in more than 10 percent below the project estimate of $52 million. “This allows us to continue with other initiatives supporting the project, such as geothermal heating and cooling and extensive east campus site work modifications,” he said.

Remaining bids

The bid documents for Piez rehabilitation—about $30 million for the 80,000-gross-square-foot building and adjacent site work—are currently advertised, Simmonds said. Bid construction documents will be advertised for the estimated $6 million first phase of the $25 million project to renovate Wilber and Park halls.

Simmonds said last week that the opening-day target for the projects is fall 2013.

A team led by Rhonda Mandel, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; School of Education Dean Linda Rae Markert; Dan Tryon, assistant professor of technology; and Casey Raymond, assistant professor of chemistry, has worked closely with Facilities Design and Construction personnel to help integrate the work of the academic planning groups and to formulate a complex relocation and surge plan.

The team is close to finalizing a plan to allow Park Hall to empty after this semester, so work can begin on the education portion of the project simultaneous with construction of the sciences and engineering complex, Simmonds said.

“As we have these bid results, we’re also eager to dive back into design of a redeveloped Rice Creek Field Station,” he said.

That $1.75 million to $2 million project at Rice Creek would result in a renovated and expanded building with modern labs, classrooms and offices, as well as information-rich trail signage for the approximately 400-acre living laboratory south of the main campus off Thompson Road.

Cannon Design of Grand Island has the Rice Creek project at this stage, and also did the design work for the sciences and engineering complex.

GRAPHIC CAPTION: New construction—The Pike Co. of Rochester received a notice of bid award for nearly $46 million to construct the new portion (orange area) of the sciences and engineering complex. The new construction will wrap around a renovated Piez Hall and link physically and collaboratively to adjacent renovated School of Education buildings Wilber and Park halls.

(Posted: Dec 03, 2010)