Information Relative to the Design and Construction of the New Federal Building in Williamsport, Pennsylvania

LCD-78-308: Published: Mar 13, 1978. Publicly Released: Mar 13, 1978.

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Cost increases for the design and construction of the new Federal building in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, were reviewed, and information was gathered relative to the canopy in the parking area, the need to redesign and raise part of the roof, some problems with the structural steel, and the General Services Administration's (GSA) procedures for selection of architect-engineer firms.

It was found that: (1) although final settlement is not complete, the total cost is expected to be approximately $4.4 million; this is less than the total estimated cost of $5,003,000 in the approved prespectus; (2) the canopy over the parking area was added after basement parking had been deleted from the building plans; GSA included it in the revised solicitation as an alternate item; (3) the courtroom was initially designed with a 9-foot, 8-inch ceiling height rather than the 16-foot height recommended by the Judicial Conference of the United States and agreed to by GSA for 40- by 60-foot courtrooms; after construction was underway, the courtroom was redesigned to conform to the 16-foot standard; (4) the GSA contracting officer believed that certain steel beams deflected more than anticipated, but its Architect-Engineer Deficiency Committee concluded that the architect-engineer firm was not negligent, and there should be no attempt to recover the increased costs from the firm; and (5) the architect-engineer firm for the project was selected by the Administrator of GSA; procedures now provide for ranking of interested qualified firms by an evaluation panel that makes a recommendation to the Administrator of GSA.

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