The Public Building Commission of Chicago is continuing to work towards its goal of providing efficient and cost effective construction project delivery for our clients, including the City of Chicago, the Chicago Public Schools and the Chicago Park District.
To achieve our objectives we need our pre-qualified general contractors to attract multiple competitive bids from experienced and capable subcontractors. In February of this year we acknowledged to the subcontracting community that the PBC needed to make significant improvements in several key areas to attract more prime and subcontract bidders. For our spring 2007 construction program we implemented many changes, including the two improvements that you told us were most important:
- Prompt Payment of Monthly Payment Estimates. For all of the projects currently under construction, we are meeting or exceeding our “pay-in-30-days” commitment to general contractors. We are monitoring the general contractors’ new contract obligation to pay subcontractors within 15 days and we are posting approved pay applications both on our web site (https://pbcchicago.com/subhtml/pay_apps.asp) and in each jobsite trailer.
- Prompt Approval and Payment for Changes. Changed work is being approved and contractor claims are being reviewed by the PBC at weekly roundtable meetings. The result has been expedited written direction to contractors so general contractors and their subcontractors no longer have to begin work without assurance of payment.
We are continuing to examine our requirements and intend to make common sense changes to attract more quality contractors and subcontractors to bid our projects.
The PBC will also continue to pre-qualify general contractors on a project-by-project basis because our recent experience shows us that the process helps both our projects and the subcontracting community by allowing everyone to know which qualified general contractors are interested in which projects.
Upcoming Construction Projects
The PBC expects 2008 to be a banner year for new construction with several hundred million dollars of new schools, park field houses, police districts, senior centers and libraries being bid. We have also just completed the process of pre-qualifying general contractors for three projects that we plan bid before the end of this year: 13 firms were pre-qualified to bid on a new Vehicle Maintenance Facility to be built for the City of Chicago; 17 firms for a new Beverly Branch Library; and 9 firms for an addition to Jones College Prep High School.
See our website for details on these projects, including the list of pre-qualified contractors https://pbcchicago.com/subhtml/prequal.asp.
1st Deputy Director