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O’Fallon says ‘no’ to two Justice Center resolutions

At its April 13 meeting, the O’Fallon City Council declined to enter into two agreements for commissioning work at the new Justice Center that is currently under construction.

Nine councilmembers voted no on resolutions to enter into contracts with En-Comm and McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. Councilmember Dave Hinman [Ward 1] was the lone member to vote in favor of those contracts.

The scope of the commissioning would have included confirming integration and optimal function of the building’s major systems prior to the center’s opening, project manager Chris Clercx told the council during its workshop meeting. He described commissioning as a “test flight for the building.” He said commissioning was discussed in the early stages of the Justice Center project but was put on the back burner.

Under the proposed agreements, En-Comm would have provided commissioning services as an independent third-party at a cost of $52,000. The second measure was a supplemental agreement with McCarthy for additional costs – an estimated $30,000 – for services to enforce the commissioning efforts at the new building, which will be located on Bryan Road south of Veterans Memorial Parkway.

The city retained McCarthy last year as the construction manager on the project, which is financed by a bond issue and property tax increase approved by voters in April 2015.

Before voting, Councilmember John Haman Jr. [Ward 3] expressed skepticism toward the commissioning work, asking what the city would gain from it.

“During the finishing process, it’s going to be summertime, we’re going to know if the air conditioner is working and cooling the building or not. We’re going to know if the windows are leaking when it rains. We’re going to know if the lights are working because we have men and women working in the rooms with the lights,” he said.

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