Don’t get your hopes up about a quick fix for the damaged ECC gym in Delap. One local contractor says US Navy involvement is not only not helping to move the project forward, but will increase the cost to local contractors who attempt to win a contract to do the renovation work.
The US and RMI governments last year approved $1.5 million of Compact infrastructure funds to fix the gym, which has been out of service for over five years. The US Embassy in Majuro engaged a Navy engineering group to inspect the gym, and develop the project so it could go out to bid for local construction companies.
But a “walk through” at the ECC earlier this month by local construction companies and US Navy engineers was “disappointing,” said PII Chief Operating Officer Kenneth Kramer. “We thought the Navy was preparing documents for a bid, but they want us to give them a design to build it. This means more delay and puts the burden on us.” The Navy wants to complete work on gym renovation May 2017.
In addition to the Navy asking for a ‘design build,’ Kramer said there is confusion over the extent of the renovation work wanted by government and the cost. A total of $1.5 million has been budgeted but if the floor and other aspects are included in addition to the roof, the project could easily be over $2 million, he said.
A so-called “design build” is not usually how government funded construction is handled in the RMI. Public Works Project Management Unit usually produces an engineering design and bidding documents that spell out the scope of the project so that construction companies can submit competing bids and cost estimates based on a single design. Public Works then selects the bid that is the best price and best fits the requirements of the bid.
PII’s recommendation to Public Works is to decline help from the Navy. “We have professionals here who can do it and make decisions to move it forward,” said PII CEO Jerry Kramer.
Read more about this in the July 29, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.