Crossland wins arts center contract

Jay Benedict | Editor-in-Chief

After cutting $371,000 in optional extras from the plans for the Fine and Performing Arts Center, PSU awarded the contract to Crossland Construction for $30.3 million.
Seven companies bid on the proje

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ct, but all of the bids cost more than the university had expected. Fortunately, the Facilities Planning Office included 21 alternates, which were options that could be added or taken away from the base bid.
Paul Stewart, director of facilities planning, says they utilized five alternates to bring the cost more in line with the projected budget and available funds.
“The final cost is the base bid of just under $30.7 million and five accepted alternatives that deducted from that total,” Stewart said.
Stewart says the contract has been signed, but there is still more paperwork to do before the building can begin. After all that is completed and a schedule from Crossland is in place, they have to receive a Notice to Proceed with Construction from the state of Kansas.
“I think it will be January before we see any mobilization from Crossland and even that might be a little aggressive,” Stewart said. “We have to take winter weather and the holidays into account.”
The companies that bid on the project provided a base bid and then included prices for the 21 alternates. Twelve of the alternates were for features that were above and beyond the necessities and could be added if the base bids came in under budget. The nine remaining alternates were cost-cutters. These are things that the university wanted, but could get by without.
“We chose the alternatives that helped us,” Stewart said. “Things like extra lights and speakers would have added to the base bid and can be added in the future. We’ll continue to fundraise and will be able to add those later.”
The alternates chose included features like skylights, fencing around mechanical units on the ground and roof, window shades and a large split-face etched into the concrete wall that faces the parking lot.
Crossland Construction has a long history with PSU. Most recently, the company completed the Crossland Family University House, which is President Steve Scott’s residence and entertainment space for guests of the university. In the past, they’ve also built the Student Recreation Center, the Bryant Student Health Center, the east and west expansions to Carnie Smith Stadium and the renovations to Porter, Trout and Bowen halls.
The Fine and Performing Arts Center will be the first building of its kind on campus since Carney Hall was closed and demolished in 1978. Talks of building a new performance hall started before Carney’s destruction, but are finally coming to fruition.
“It’s very exciting to start the next part of the process,” Stewart said. “This is something that was being talked about before I got here and that is going on eight years now.”
The building, which will be near the corner of Ford and Homer streets, south of the Weede Athletic Complex, has been funded by private donations and fees students voted to contribute. Stewart says this is the largest project he’s undertaken at Pitt State.
“Square footage-wise, it’s about the same as the rec center, but it’s the largest cost project I’ve worked on since I’ve been here,” Stewart said. “It’s also the most complex.”

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