- The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) board announced that it has ended joint venture Skanska-Hunt’s contract on its $1.4 billion expansion project in Seattle, according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.
- Officials at development company Pine Street Group, which is in charge of the project, said they determined Skanska-Hunt was not "the right fit" after working with the contractor for six months, the Business Journal reported.
- Convention center officials said they will add additional time to the design phase, select another contractor and retain the subcontractors already signed on to the project. They also said they anticipate no significant effect on the project schedule, including the anticipated groundbreaking in 2017.
The Business Journal reported that Skanska, in a statement, calls the board's decision "shocking and tremendously disappointing." Skanska's statement continued, "We have operated in a professional manner consistent with our corporate values and in the best interest of the Washington State taxpayers who will ultimately fund this $1.4 billion project."
Skanska-Hunt beat out two other finalists — Mortenson-PCL and Clark Construction-Lease Crutcher Lewis — for the contract last year, according to the Business Journal. The convention center expansion project aims to increase the amount of exhibit space for trade shows and other center events. Once complete, the existing facility will be double its current size.
In another recent high-profile project controversy, construction giant Skanska was involved in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s Boston Green Line rail extension. After $1 billion in cost overruns and delays, the MBTA terminated White-Skanska-Kiewit, along with other lead contractors on the project, laying much of the blame on the procurement process for the guaranteed maximum price aspect of WSK’s contract. However, details have since come to light since that the MBTA’s reported lack of management and oversight before the project even started might have played a bigger role than anticipated in the project’s troubles.
On a more upbeat note for Skanska, the company signed a $94 million contract last month for the next phase of the $173 million Irving Music Factory, a mixed-use office and entertainment complex being executed as a public-private partnership (P3) with the city of Irving, TX.