The Times-Tribune

Vote expected on Globe constructi­on manager

County officials eye moving into former store in 2018.

- BY KYLE WIND

STAFF WRITER Lackawanna County commission­ers are poised to choose a constructi­on manager to convert the former Globe Store into a new county office hub.

Commission­ers are expected to vote on choosing Quandel Constructi­on Group to oversee the renovation of the former landmark downtown Scranton department store at today’s meeting.

Compensati­on outlined in the proposed contract with the Harrisburg-based firm includes $136,025 for pre-constructi­on services, an estimated $39,995 monthly charge during constructi­on and $20,000 for peer review of work.

The administra­tion envisions constructi­on beginning nine to 12 months after appointing a constructi­on manager, and to move into the 255,964-square-foot building by the end of 2018, said Andy Wallace, chief of staff to the commission­ers.

A year of constructi­on under that timeline would bring the cumulative monthly fee to about $479,940.

Quandel is the recommenda­tion to the commission­ers of a committee who reviewed about seven proposals and narrowed them down to three finalists, all of whom Mr. Wallace described as qualified companies with local offices.

“They will show us the best way to get best product for the cost, for the least amount of money,” Mr. Wallace said.

Aside from Mr. Wallace, the committee included Solicitor John Brazil, Director of Buildings and Grounds Kevin Shaughness­y, Economic Developmen­t Director George Kelly and Deputy Director of Community Relations Jim Rodway. County engineer Gary Cavill and county architect John Palumbo advised the committee.

Mr. Wallace described choosing a constructi­on manager as an important milestone in the project, which commission­ers approved buying for $1.3 million in a 2-1 vote April 29.

Democratic Commission­er Jerry Notarianni voted against the purchase but indicated he would support choosing Quandel as the constructi­on manager, similarly to how he supported borrowing up to $17 million from a consortium of local banks to finance the project.

Mr. Notarianni said he still has reservatio­ns about a project he feels wasn’t vetted thoroughly enough before the vote and fears will run over its proposed budget.

“Quandel is a good firm,” Mr. Notarianni said. “If (fellow Democrat Patrick O’Malley and Republican Laureen Cummings) are going to do it, and it’s obvious they are, I want to do it right.”

Mr. O’Malley has repeatedly emphasized he expects getting out of leases at several other county buildings to offset debt payments for the purchase and constructi­on and to bring the 100 block of Wyoming Avenue back to life.

The administra­tion estimated savings on rent and utilities from moving offices to the Wyoming Avenue building will total $122,734 annually after accounting for repayment of $17 million in debt to finance buying, renovating and moving into the space.

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