BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ -- Tuesday night, President of Mast Construction Services Ted Domuracki, and two Mast employees, Sean Edmonds, and Eric Chait, and the township’s Bond Counsel Matt Jessup updated residents on the status of the Municipal Complex Project, including the projected timeline until it is finished, its budget and changes to it because of change orders.

Domuracki gave an overview of “where we are today, how we got there, and where we are going. He then gave a financial overview of the project using three slides prepared by Mast: 

Slide A (see above) described the reasons for the various change orders requested breakdown by “soils and non-soils." The slide contains the cost as submitted by Epic, the negotiated/approved amount, percentage of change order cost total, and the percentage of hard costs. 

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Approved Change Orders for Unsuitable/contaminated soils, “unforeseen conditions,” accounted for $1,237,470 and non-soils change orders have added $419,542 to the total cost of the project.

Epic's original Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) to build out the project was $26,828,574 and the change orders approved through May 12, totaled $1,657,012, or 6.2 percent of the GMP.

Slide B shows the breakdown of Change Orders by category through Change Order 12, as of May 12, 2020. Field and Unforeseen Conditions in slide A were $1,237,470 and the under slab drainage system change order which was approved at another time was $135,000, bringing the total cost to $1,412,776 or 85.3 % of the total cost of change orders. The other Change Orders which accounted for 14.7 percent of the total cost of Change Orders, were for Scope Change, Design Omissions, Owner Request, and Building Department/Utility/Other reasons.  

Domuracki said there will be an additional cost to the township for some contaminated soils that need to be removed and some soil to be imported to the site. At this time, the contaminated soil is safely secured over by the DPW and out of Epic’s way, so Epic can continue to work.

Slide C shows Proposed Change Orders (PCO) submissions. 

The first line contains change orders submitted and deemed valid. Epic submitted $2,260,715 for payment and a total of $1,657,012 was approved.  

Line two covers PCOs submitted and outright rejected. They were rejected because they are not valid change orders and owed by the redeveloper under their scope. 

Line 3 covers PCOs submitted as change orders and approved as contingency draws. Under the terms of The Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP), the contractor, Epic, has to perform all the scope in their contract for the price that was guaranteed, unless there are any changes outside their scope. Epic carries a contingency of $476,000, so when they submitted a Change Order for $322,447, which was for work in its scope, it was approved as a contingency draw, said Edmunds. 

To date, Epic has submitted $3,029,833 in change orders and only $1,657,012 has been approved by Mast. This means the township has not had to pay Epic an additional $1,372,821.  

Council President Alvaro Medeiros asked if all these were “non-contentious,” and Edmunds said they are all “resolved. There are still a couple of open change orders, but they are minor … These are all considered closed and resolved.”

Chait described the items that were included in Change Order 12, which was approved by the council Tuesday. 

Change Order 12 consists of eight different Proposed Change Orders (PCOs):

  • oiA small credit of $2,000 related to parging, coating with cement, at the top of the footings;
  • Elevator electrical changed by $10,500 - the elevator had to be changed due to the size of the shaft; 
  • $89,000 for electrical changes to antennae for the police department that have to be placed on the roof for their communications. It was not part of the original bid because this scope was not fully fleshed out at the time and the changes in how police, fire and other emergency calls are dispatched, the antenna requirements for the police to communicate with the county in Westfield, changed a great deal;
  • $37,000 for audio visual changes - the entire scope of work for the building was not fleshed out at the time of the bid;
  • $23,000 for a site retaining wall, east side of the building, where the detective bureau currently is. The building was lowered about 18 inches;
  • $1,800 lock set core change to keys that can’t be easily copied;
  • $39,000 imported stone (fill) to replace the unsuitable/contaminated soils removed from the site;
  • $44,000 detention basin unsuitable soil handling;
  • $20,000 water riser changers related to requirements from NJ American Water. Water feed will go into the building and then go out to the building to feed the salt done. This was an addition to the redeveloper’s contract.

Edmunds said the total of the change order on the agenda is $262,322.08 -- this is less than the PCOs submitted by Epic, which totaled $336,000. 

A complete list of Change Orders approved by the council can be found on Pages 18 – 20 in the text of Resolution 5 on the agenda for the May 12 meeting of the council, here.

On the Township Website, in the Document Center, the Municipal Complex Financial Update contains information on the history of the project.

Related Story:

Municipal Complex Project: Council Faces Hard Choices.