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Construction starts on $480 million arena

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PCL has started construction on a new $600 million stadium in downtown Edmonton, which is scheduled to be completed in 2016 for the opening of the National Hockey League season.
Construction starts on $480 million arena

PCL has started construction on a new $480 million stadium in downtown Edmonton, which is scheduled to be completed in 2016 for the opening of the National Hockey League season.

“PCL is excited to be part of a project that will be a catalyst for growth and for transforming the city’s downtown core,” said Mike Staines, construction manager with PCL Construction Management Inc.

“Being awarded a project of this magnitude and scope in Edmonton, the home of PCL’s North American Headquarters, is something that we are very proud of.”

Construction on Rogers Place in Edmonton officially started on March 3.

The first work on the project included fencing off the construction site, placing trailers for crews and starting to clear the site.

Next, construction on the first phase of the project got underway, which involves excavating soil for the underground parkade and installing concrete piles.

This phase will take several months to complete.

“Right now equipment is on site to clear the current parking lot and to start excavation,” said Staines.

“The materials being excavated will be trucked off the site. Starting the end of March or early April, crews will be using a piling rig to install concrete piles.”

The City of Edmonton and Katz Group reached an agreement on a $480 million Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) contract for construction of the arena.

A GMP is a cost-based contract, where the contractor is paid a fixed price to manage the construction and a fixed percentage for overhead and profit, based upon an agreed scope of work.

The contractor is responsible for cost overruns and must deliver the project at the agreed-upon budget, even if costs for labour and materials rise, as long as the original project scope is maintained.

However, a GMP contract does not include changes to the design made after the contract is prepared.

For this reason, there are contingency funds included in the $480 million budget for the arena to absorb unanticipated design changes.

This will also be used to address issues that could not have been foreseen at the time the GMP was set.

The original framework deal proposed in October 2011 estimated the total cost of the arena to be $450 million.

As part of the deal, The Katz Group pledged $100 million to the project with the city raising $250 million.

Another $100 million would come from the provincial or federal governments.

The project also involves the construction of four other components: a community rink, Winter Garden, Light Rapid Transit connection and pedestrian access way.

The total cost of the project will be about $606.5 million.

“As the project moves forward into construction, PCL will be responsible for the review and recommendation of subcontract bids received, such that subcontractors are engaged to execute the project,” said Staines.

“PCL also retains overall responsibility for the co-ordination and management of all the subcontractors during the construction phase.”

He expects that more than 1,000 construction workers will pass through the site over the duration of the project.

The peak workforce at any given time could reach as many as 500 tradespeople.

PCL Construction was hired as the pre-construction manager to prepare the GMP.

During the pre-construction phase, PCL provided expertise in the areas of constructability analysis, construction planning, preparation of conceptual estimates and budgets, and scheduling.

PCL became the construction manager on the project, when the GMP was delivered on budget.

The project team has been working on the final design over the past year so that it keeps true to the schematic designs shared in spring 2012, and meets the budget set by Edmonton city council.

ICON Venue Group will continue as project manager and 360 Architects will lead a team that includes a number of local firms.

Rogers Place is being promoted by the City of Edmonton as an important catalyst for the revitalization of the downtown core.

by Richard Gilbert

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