Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Reds ballpark behind schedule

Extra costs uncertain, but likely covered

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Construction crews are nearly three weeks behind in laying the foundation and floodwall for Great American Ball Park, and are trying to figure out how to keep the rest of the project on schedule.

        The lag is sure to end up costing money, said Project Manager Arnie Rosenberg, but no one can say how much.

        Whatever the additional cost, it likely will be paid with project contingency funds already built into the $280 million budget.

        “We felt work on the superstructure needed to start March 1,” construction manager Eric Schreiner said Monday. “It was an aggressive schedule, but one that we felt needed to happen. We still have several unanswered questions that need to be resolved.

        “But we think the work can start this week, so we'll be able to pin down how much of a problem we have.”

        Hamilton County Commissioners took the news in stride. Tom Neyer said the construction managers have to work together to make up the time.

        “Two weeks is very recoverable,” Mr. Neyer said. “But we've got to make sure everyone is in lockstep.”

        The ballpark is still on budget as far as taxpayers' $280 million contribution. But costs have climbed an additional $9 million since September — meaning the Reds will pay more than $18 million to cover additional costs.

        However, site work around the ballpark and modifications to Cinergy Field are expected to come in $12 million under budget.

        Architects also have identified an additional $4 million that can be saved by so-called “value engineering” — about $1 million from structural steel work, $1 million in concrete and $500,000 in masonry.


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