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August 11, 2008 1:42 pm

Sletten evaluating numbers

Written by Tribune Staff

Burbach will guide ‘value engineering' process
“We're not focusing on a ‘magic number.'” Shawn Warner, Sletten Construction of Wyoming
Last week's City Council decision to move forward with aquatic center construction hinges on Sletten Construction of Wyoming's ability to “value engineer” the bid to a lower number.
Shawn Warner, president of Sletten Construction of Wyoming, said Monday, “We feel very confident and comfortable that we'll bring a number of really good options to the table for the city and the architects to evaluate. We're looking to give them a lot of flexibility.”
Warner is currently working with representatives of Burbach Aquatics Inc. to identify ways to cut costs.
As to whether he will be able to work constructively with Burbach Aquatics, after the company recommended a re-bid of the project, Warner said, “There's no reason we can't have a good, acceptable working relationship. That's just business, and they were just doing the job they've been paid to do. I've got no reason to think otherwise.”
City Administrator Zane Logan said the city “is just waiting for Burbach to work with Sletten to come up with small, incidental stuff to bring the price down.”
He added that value engineering doesn't entail a redesign of the pool, but rather involves looking a small things that can be adjusted or modified. Examples, he said, might involve choosing another brand of equipment or changing the texture on some of the prefab walls.
“We're not worrying about a magic number. Instead we're looking at the areas where we can cut costs,” Warner added, “There's no doubt (city officials) are uncomfortable with the original bid numbers, but if they have a certain number in mind, they sure haven't shared it with us. I don't even know if all of the council members agree on what the budget numbers should be.”
Warner reiterated his belief that a re-bid of the project would have brought even higher bid figures. He said material costs are increasing daily.
“Our steel package price alone goes up over $40,000 tomorrow morning,” he said. “The chance of new bids being lower is non-existent. That's a fool's game right there.”
Logan said it could be a couple of weeks before Burbach Aquatics forwards a new recommendation to the city, adding that part of the process involves research on their part to gather information about where the additional costs came in.