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Front Page » Top Stories » County Plans To Rework Contract For Arts Center

County Plans To Rework Contract For Arts Center

Written by on June 24, 2004

By Susan Stabley
Miami-Dade County officials plan to restructure their contract with Miami Performing Arts Center builders and architects but will not yet set a cap on costs.

Amid reservations and questions about who should be blamed for cost overruns at the center, county commissioners this week told County Manager George Burgess to restructure the county’s deal with builders and architects to add $67 million in value and a new project manager to finish the project. The project, under construction in downtown Miami on Biscayne Boulevard between 13th and 14th streets, originally was valued at $255 million.

County commissioners plan to review a new contract July 13.

Commissioner Sally Heyman said Tuesday that she wants to see a deal that takes into account the estimated $27.3 million shortfall detailed by Performing Arts Center CEO Michael Hardy, who oversees the facilities’ operating trust and fundraising foundation.

"Get a legitimate figure, and the project is legitimate," Ms. Heyman said.

Aside from a new contract, officials say they have three options for dealing with cost overruns – maintain the status quo, fire the builders and architects for cause or fire them for convenience. All three of those options would result in at least $120 million in cost overruns.

If commissioners opt for the status quo, the cost overruns are projected at more than $181 million – as much as $110 million to subcontractors, $21 million to designer Cesar Pelli and Associates and $33 million to the center’s builders, a joint venture of Odebrecht Construction, the Haskell Co. and EllisDon Construction.

None of the latter three options offer easy solutions or guarantees for final costs or date of completion, Mr. Burgess said.