Construction firm requests delay on Strasburg municipal buildings

STRASBURG – The construction firm working on the town’s Department of Public Works facility and Wastewater Treatment Plant has requested a one-year extension on construction of the facility, and a 270-day extension on the plant.

Town Council discussed the matter at its work session Tuesday night, and will decide whether or not to accept the extension in the future, potentially at its September meeting.

While Assistant Town Manager Jay McKinley has said in the past he expected the firm to need a 60- or 90-day extension, he did not expect a 365-day request.

However, he said the buildings will be substantially completed for the town employees to begin moving in before construction finalizes. The Department of Public Works building will reach substantial completion next spring, while construction will require a year to complete.

Likewise, the Waste Water Treatment Plant will reach substantial completion at the end of December, but construction will finalize roughly 270 days behind schedule.

“It was a little shocking at first,” he said. “365 is like ‘Oh, holy smokes!’ But that’s not really the case.”

According to Mayor Rich Orndorff Jr., council will need to discuss the extension with the builders before convening to host a public discussion and take action.

While no details are certain, both town officials and employees of the construction company, English Construction, said the firm will assume the costs of the delay, not the town.

“The good news for the town and for the constituent, and for the design-builder is, despite the delays to the project, it’s not costing anybody anything more,” Orndorff said.

Henry Myers, vice president of the company and project executive for the Strasburg work, said the delays are due to the nature of the firm’s use of a design-build implementation schedule.

Using this process, the builders work on the design as they build to cater on the fly to the needs of both the town and its budget.

“When it comes to both the Waste Water Treatment Plant and the Department of Public Works facility, because this has been a design-build process, there has been a whole lot of dialogue between the owner and the builder to allow changes to be made to the project and to allow the changes to fit within the budget,” Myers said.

According to McKinley, while using the design-build model, firms can begin construction on a project when the design is 30 percent complete, leaving wiggle room for the owner and builder.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. Sept. 13 to discuss the matter further at its regularly scheduled meeting.

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com