New York SCA Oversees $13.1 Billion Project, Seeks to Salvage Relationships with the Trades

The New York School Construction Authority (SCA) is in charge of a proposed $13.1 billion capital program that will fund the construction of 90 new schools and improvements to 671 existing schools, and with this amount of work, SCA is taking steps to mend its relationships with the contracting and design communities. About two years ago, SCA shared the responsibility of planning, designing, budgeting,

The New York School Construction Authority (SCA) is in charge of a proposed $13.1 billion capital program that will fund the construction of 90 new schools and improvements to 671 existing schools, and with this amount of work, SCA is taking steps to mend its relationships with the contracting and design communities. About two years ago, SCA shared the responsibility of planning, designing, budgeting, and renovating new and existing schools with the New York City Department of Education's Division of School Facilities. That partnership led to problems, and many firms stopped doing business with SCA. Two years later, William Goldstein, president and CEO of SCA, is making contractors aware that things have changed and that there are plenty of project opportunities. To improve SCA's reputation, Goldstein has made changes to design standards, contractor pre-qualifications, and the changeorder process, which has resulted in lower construction costs. For example, bids that used to come in at $400 to $420 per square foot are now coming in at just over $300 per square foot. “We are constantly doing outreach because we want more firms to participate,” Goldstein recently told New York Construction magazine. E. Bruce Barrett, vice president of architecture and engineering for SCA, told the magazine that the agency conducts two informational sessions per week with firms that are interested in doing business with SCA. “We're hoping to get new blood on these projects,” Barrett says.

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