The Times West Virginian

Local News

June 22, 2014

Office complex construction on track

‘Certainly something that drives everybody that’s beyond the contract’

FAIRMONT — Because of a great “willingness to work” and teamwork among the contractor and local subcontractors, the West Virginia State Office Complex on Adams Street in Fairmont is right on track, according to Ned Luthy, project architect and principal with Omni Associates.

“They’re all just willing to jump in and get it done,” Luthy said. “Every subcontractor that’s on the project is engaged.”

Coordinating subcontractors can get complicated. That’s why Luthy said they spent extra time early on in the project setting a plan in place.

“We did a lot of that effort, and I think we’re reaping that benefit now,” Luthy said.

Luthy said that part of what makes working with the local subcontractors work so well is the people themselves.

“They’re working together because they’re West Virginia people,” Luthy said. “They have a lot of pride in their craft, and in getting the job done.”

Among both the contractor and the subcontractors, Luthy said the workers have a lot of pride in their work.

“There’s certainly something that drives everybody that’s beyond the contract,” Luthy said. “They’re getting it done above and beyond that across the board.”

Luthy said that this stage in the project is the heaviest for the billing cycles.

“We’ve got construction going on, a large crane on Adams Street and on Quincy. We’ve got exterior construction and a tremendous amount of interior construction, and we’re taking advantage of the weather,” Luthy said.

Luthy said that the project is approximately 50 percent complete, both in time and money spent.

Luthy said he’s enjoyed watching the project come together.

“I come into Fairmont everyday down the Connector and have a view of the building,” Luthy said. “I’m just really excited to see that whole south face come into being. It’s a nice addition to our townscape. Such a beautiful view.”

Luthy said that after the hard winter they lost a couple of weeks, but since then P.J. Dick, the general contracting and constructing company awarded the contract to build the complex, has been taking advantage of the great weather.

“Things have come together really easily,” Luthy said. “I’d say we’re ahead of schedule.”

The building is set to be fully enclosed by November and completed in February 2015.

Once the building is enclosed, it will prevent the possibility of winter weather-related delays.

Construction on the complex caused the closure of one lane of Adams Street starting at the end of March. The lane is planned to remain closed through November. The lane closure is necessary to allow access to the north elevation of the project for cranes and lifts while work is done on the exterior of the building, and while external site improvements are completed. These improvements will include new sidewalks, landscaping and some street beautification.

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 new building will be 80,000 square feet. It will be LEED certified as energy efficient, and is expected to reach at least silver certification.

Agencies planning to move into the building once it is completed 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.

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

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

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