Civic Center costs may grow by $12.5 million

Newport Beach City Council will decide Tuesday night on funding solar panels, a connecting bridge over San Miguel Drive.

February 21, 2011|By Mike Reicher,

In its latest estimate of Civic Center construction costs, Newport Beach expects to spend as much as $12.5 million more than planned when it approved bonds to cover the project in November.

According to estimates released Monday afternoon, Newport will spend between $124.9 million and $135.5 million — up from $123 million in November.

The final cost will depend on if the City Council approves some options Tuesday, like a bridge connecting two sections of the Civic Center, and if the design and construction teams cut their own spending.


"We're always looking to reduce costs," Public Works Director Steve Badum said on Friday.

The city had already identified more than $4 million in potential savings, according to construction documents, by using less expensive materials and better technologies.

How much could be saved by using solar energy technology is one question the council will consider Tuesday. A solar installation company estimated that the city would reduce its total electricity costs by 25% and the system would pay back costs within about 11 years.

But the initial $750,000 investment in photovoltaic roof panels may be too much, some council members said Monday.

"I'd like to see us do it," said Councilwoman Nancy Gardner, but the building is already very energy-efficient, she added, and the money might be better spent elsewhere.

Another, more expensive, question the council will address is whether a bridge should span San Miguel Drive, linking the City Hall with the dog park and other open space planned for the area near the Newport Transportation Center.

Its price tag: $2 million.

"I'm not leaning in favor of those two items," said Mayor Mike Henn. "They need to be considered in the context of the total spending allowance."

Indeed, the project's total spending is expected to grow when the City Council makes a nearly $90-million appropriation to the budget at Tuesday night's meeting.

By The Numbers

Items costing more than $1 million in Newport Beach's Civic Center construction project:

$14.9 million for project design

$9.6 million for electrical system

$8.4 million for structural steel

$7.3 million for aluminum and glass walls

$6.7 million for parking structure

$6.1 million for excavation and shoring

$5.8 million for construction contingency*

$4.8 million for landscape and irrigation

$4.3 million for concrete structures and rebar

$3.6 million for stone paving and stone veneer

$3.2 million for construction management fee

$2.9 million for concrete paving

$2.8 million for drywall

$2.3 for acoustical panel ceilings and wood ceilings

$2.1 million for decorative and miscellaneous other metal work

$2.0 million for office furnishings, fixtures and equipment

$2.0 million for bridge over San Miguel Drive*

$1.9 million for interior architectural woodwork

$1.7 million for construction insurance premium

$1.3 million for grading

$1.3 million for roofing

$1.2 million for sheet metal trim

$1.2 million for masonry and brick pavers

$1.1 million for construction insurance loss*

$1.1 million for outside building inspection and construction plan review

*May or may not be spent

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