The Times West Virginian

March 29, 2014

Long-term lane closure set as State Office Complex work picks up

By Colleen S. Good
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Construction on the new West Virginia State Office Complex has closed one lane of traffic on Adams Street.

Bob Salvatora, project manager for PJ Dick, the general contracting and construction company awarded the contract to build the complex, said that the lane closure will continue for some time.

“We anticipate it continuing as late as the end of November,” Salvatora said. The lane closure was approved by the state, and the company also talked with the city prior to the lane closure, Salvatora said.

“The reason for the lane closure is mainly for the safety of our workers and people driving by,” Salvatora said.

The lane closure will allow access to the north elevation of the project for cranes and lifts while construction continues on the exterior of the building.

“As we speak, we’re going to start putting up the exterior metal studs, along with a weather-resistant exterior sheeting board, and then there will be brick and pre-cast stone that will make up the facade after that,” Salvatora said. “Finally, there will be metal accent panels and windows put in at the end.”

After the exterior of the building is complete, there will still be more work to do before the lane can re-open.

“We’ll be doing site improvements, including new sidewalks and landscaping, and some street beautification,” Salvatora said.

Salvatora said that a third-party firm called Protection Services will regularly examine the lane closure site to ensure the lights and other supplies are in working condition for the duration of the closure.

No other lane closures on Adams Street are planned; however, there will now be more regular lane closures for Quincy Street, as needed, to allow trucks to deliver supplies to the site.

After a rough winter, construction on the West Virginia State Office Complex on Adams Street in Fairmont is now back on track.

“We figured we lost about seven working days on the project, but since then, the contractor has been able to take advantage of some of the good days we’ve had,” Ned Luthy, project architect for the building and principal with Omni Associates, said. “We feel like we’ve survived a bit of a hit on productivity and the weather.”

“Now we’re all feeling like winter is gone, and we’re ready to go,” Luthy said.

The new building was designed by Fairmont architecture firm Omni Associates. PJ Dick, Inc., a general contracting and construction company headquartered in Pittsburgh, was awarded the $17.2 million contract to build the complex in August 2013.

The previous West Virginia State Office Complex on Adams Street was closed by the state Department of Administration in February 2009 due to structural problems.

The new building will be 80,000 square feet and four stories tall.

Luthy said from now on, there will be a lot of activity on site.

“Right now, the project is ready to explode,” Luthy said. “It’s all a ballet on site— who goes next. All those pieces have an effect on when other pieces happen. It’s interesting when you see the work on a daily basis.

“We’re really looking forward to a great spring and summer effort.”

The site is currently at 30 percent completion.

“We’re looking at February 2015 completion,” Luthy said. “We have a year left. We’ve expended about 30 percent contract time, billed about 30 percent work, and have 30 percent days complete on the contract.

“And everybody that watches the project is really going to see a lot in the next six months. We’re going to be very busy on the job site, rushing toward November. We want to get it enclosed.”

Once the building is enclosed, there will no longer be a fear of winter weather related delays.

The building will be LEED certified as energy efficient, and it is expected to reach at least silver certification.

When the building is completed, agencies planning to move into the complex include the Department of Health and Human Resources, the state Tax Department, the state Insurance Commission, Rehabilitative Services, the Secretary of State’s office and WorkForce West Virginia.

Email Colleen S. Good at cgood@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.