Latest Update On Convergence Center Planning

I wanted to provide a short update on the continuing development of the Convergence Center project.  W.M. Jordan and Company offered a contract to serve as the Construction Manager “at risk” for this project.  The project is scheduled to break ground in May 2012 (sometime after the end of commencement ceremonies) although some preliminary work on the site (such as moving underground utilities and telecomm wiring) may start earlier than that.  New documents about the project plan have been posted at my website, and I invite you to take at look by going to the Convergence Center tab on the Provost’s web site.
The Construction Manager “at risk” method entails a commitment by the construction manager to deliver the project within a “guaranteed maximum price (GMP).”  The construction manager provides curtained “pre construction” services designed to position the project for the most efficient and effective construction approach, and the construction manager is furthermore bound to manage and control construction costs so as not to exceed the GMP.

Jordan emerged as the top candidate following a multi-step review process.  An open call allowed construction firms desiring to bid on the project to submit their qualifications for doing the job.  Firms that passed the “pre-qualification” step were invited to submit formal written proposals.  A sub-committee of Building Committee members reviewed the written proposals. The top three firms were invited to provide oral presentations summarizing their qualifications and approach to the project.  Following the review of those presentations, and cost negotiations with the top two firms, Jordan was offered the contract.

Jordan is familiar with working on the UMW campus.  The firm is currently in charge of construction on the Mason and Randolph Halls project.  The firm also recently completed work on an Engineering Building project at the University of Virginia that bears many similarities to the Convergence Center.  The building had many of the same components as the Convergence Center, the UVa site was located near a busy campus thoroughfare (know as engineer’s way”), and the project was in the vicinity of other academic buildings and residence halls.  The experience the Jordan Company brings from this project will be put to good use on our project site.

With the Convergence Center’s location on campus walk (next to the Library), traffic on a portion of campus walk will be disrupted while the project is under construction.  The construction firm has proposed a pedestrian plan to safely route traffic around the construction site in a way avoids taking everyone too far out of their way.  As these plans evolve, you’ll be kept informed about them.

As explained in previous newsletters, the Convergence Center will be four stories tall, roughly the size of the Jepson Science Center, and will include a variety of spaces designed to enable students, faculty, and staff to interact with one another on both curricular and extracurricular tasks and projects.  The building will function as an intersection of teaching, learning, library resources, and technology resources in a space designed as an open, inviting, and active gathering place for students, faculty, and staff.

Select the Convergence Center tab on the Provost’s web site to learn more.

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