Thursday, August 10, 2000

Stadium adds $1.2M in costs

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Stadium cam
        The stadium will be ready for football Aug. 19 but cost overruns at Paul Brown Stadium have inched up a little higher — about 1.2 million inches.

        Construction managers at the stadium reported Wednesday that their estimate of $45 million in overruns has grown to $46.2 million. Built into the cost overun estimate is a $1.5 million contingency fund that, it is hoped, will cover any other unforeseen expenses at the facility.

        Three months ago, the same construction managers said the overruns had grown by $1 million, but the contingency fund would offset the coverage.

        This time, instead of saving the day, the contingency fund is actually pushing the budget further into the red. It marks the first time since the overruns were made public in February that they have gone over the $45 million mark.

        There was a bit of good news Wednesday: Stadium Project Manager Norm Getz assured commissioners that the stadium will be ready on Aug. 19 and that fans won't be inconvenienced by the areas still under construction.

        Mr. Getz said the city of Cincinnati's Building Department will grant a temporary certificate of occupancy next week, meaning the stadium will be allowed to open for the preseason game against the Chicago Bears.

        And construction managers have a plan for those areas that will not be ready — the Bengals' store, a few bars in the club lounge and permanent turnstyles at the gates — on game day.

        Temporary bars and turnstyles will be brought in for the game, while the merchandise sold at the Bengals' store will be available at concession stands.

        Although the stadium's Aug. 19 opening is just days away, work will continue for at least six months. That means taxpayers really won't know how much the new stadium ultimately will cost for some time.

        Shelby Reaves, the stadium project director, said

        there have been many unexpected cost increases related to fire safety. Those increases have pushed the budget further into the red.

        The overruns now drive up the stadium's total cost to $453.2 million, the sum of $46.2 million in overruns added to the original stadium budget of $407 million.

        Hamilton County Commission President Bob Bedinghaus was not ready to commit the additional $1.2 million on Wednesday. Mr. Bedinghaus said he still expects construction managers to bring the stadium in at $45 million over budget.

        “You did not see any action (by commissioners) that accepted a dollar amount over $45 million,” Mr. Bedinghaus said. “The final number will be whatever it is. But there is no acceptance at this point that it will be more.”

        Mr. Reaves said the contingency fund will be needed because contractors will make claims for more money at the end of the project.

        It is common for contractors to make claims as they finish their work, if they were asked to perform more work or work in a different way that drove up the cost.

        “We perceive $1.5 million as being enough to cover all of that,” Mr. Reaves said.

Bengals, usher reps set to talk

Storms flash through region
Rules confuse vendors, enforcers
- Stadium adds $1.2M in costs
FWW connections to open ahead of schedule
Judge: Inmate can get abortion
Police union to blast quotas
Rescuers to be recognized
Beating victim recalls night of terror
Caller may be clue in death
PULFER: Buying time for Murray
Servant to city's poor recognized for his work
Wanted Powerball winner turns self in on DUI charge
Cases of rickets in infants reported
Chuck Berry headlines Taste of Blue Ash
Cincinnati district plays up start date
Mason to break ground for gym and high school
Norwood to try again for levy; Milford unsure
Walgreens eyes Norwood corner
KNIPPENBERG: Waterfront secret was 98` show
KIESEWETTER: PBS chief promises more live programming
Millions hooked on Billy Bass
Ozzy shows why he's still the best
Pig Parade: Austin Sowers
Who should be cast away?
Argument ends in fatal shooting
Boys jab at Olympic future
Clark's reign in Villa Hills nearing end?
Edgewood asking for more money in Nov. operating levy
Gas fumes send 15 vacationers to hospital
Learning to part with their hair
Lebanon OKs agreement to repair railroad tracks
Man indicted in fatal stabbing of woman
Muskie back in Ky. River
N.Ky. athlete to be honored for work with kids
Patton to speak to Democrats
Radisson roof collapse injures five
School board races have few candidates
Springboro hires superintendent
Third teen in sex case goes to trial
Tire company's actions criticized
Two arrested in drug sales