Budget For Santa Monica City Hall Retrofit Cost To Increase By $150,000

Monday, 19 Nov 2012, 1:11:00 AM

Parimal M. Rohit

Improvements inside Santa Monica City Hall will now cost nearly $4.7 million.
Photo by Roger Morante
Improvements inside Santa Monica City Hall will now cost nearly $4.7 million.

Santa Monica council members approved last Tuesday a fifth amendment to a construction contract that would update Santa Monica’s City Hall and bring the total cost for the project to nearly $4.7 million. The project was originally estimated to cost about $3.8 million.

The council’s consent calendar vote authorized the City Manager’s office to negotiate a change order with California-based West Valley Investment Group, Inc., to “correct unanticipated non-conforming conditions and non-compliant code conditions” as part of City Hall’s Seismic Retrofit and Jail Tenant Improvement Project.

With the contract amendment, another $150,000 will be added to the total construction cost, which is now at $4,663,478.

Council members approved the original contract, which was valued at $3,834,325, for the City Hall Seismic Retrofit and Jail Tenant Improvement Project in October 2009. Construction began in March 2010.

“The project has experienced four change orders related to code compliance and non-conforming conditions and has exhausted the original project contingency,” City staff stated in a report. “The project requires additional contingency funds to complete the project.”

A full year after construction began, the second contract change was approved by council members in March 2011 for $679,153; the second amendment focused on complying with an updated building code.

“Change orders three and four were issued, within budget authority previously approved by Council, for unforeseen conditions, added scope, and non-compliant code conditions,” City staff stated.

According to City staff, the Jail Tenant Improvement portion of the project was completed in August 2011.

“Throughout the course of construction, the project has encountered many non-conforming conditions and conditions that do not meet current code,” City staff added. “Non-conforming conditions are areas where the original construction deviates from plans or past remodels have either added or removed elements and finished surfaces from the original construction.”

City staff cited three examples why this fifth change order for an additional $150,000 was necessary, including increased efforts to replace certain structural elements, extra time spent discovering original building wiring and plumbing, and updating non-compliant provisions of the fire code with respect to finished surfaces.

“The non-conforming conditions and non-compliant code conditions have resulted in change order costs in excess of the 10 percent contingency amount that is considered standard on typical tenant improvements or new construction projects,” City staff said. “This (fifth change order) would allow a fifth change order to correct these anticipated non-conforming conditions and non-compliant code conditions without encountering long delays.”

According to City staff, the project is about 80 percent complete and anticipated to be wrapped up by February 2013.

Council members Terry O’Day and Bobby Shriver were both not present at the Nov. 13 council meeting. However, O’Day was present Nov. 14 when council members voted on the Village Trailer Park agenda item.

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