Board chooses O & G to manage NHS project

An artistic rendition of what Naugatuck High School could look like following renovations. The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved O & G Industries to manage the project. - CONTRIBUTED

NAUGATUCK — The Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved O & G Industries of Torrington to manage the Naugatuck High School renovation project.

The construction company, which was selected Tuesday night at the board’s regular meeting, will be responsible for the bidding and supervision of 20 different tasks under the project’s $67 million construction budget, said Firdos “Fred” Khericha, the architect on the project from New Britain-based Kaestle Boos Associates. The firm’s fee is $3.8 million.

The borough will turn more than $70 million — the construction costs plus the company’s profit — over to O & G, an amount the company will bond, Khericha said.

The project’s building committee chose O & G out of three firms, said Chair Robert Neth, who is also a burgess.

“With a lot of deliberation, we felt that O & G would be the firm best suited for the Naugatuck project,” Neth said. “They’re the most qualified, in our mind.”

O & G was the lowest bidder, already has managed 30 renovate-to-new projects and has a good relationship with Kaestle Boos Associates, Neth said. The two firms worked together on the recently completed project to renovate Watertown High School, which came in $600,000 under budget, Khericha said.

Kaestle Boos Associates hired a professional estimator to put together the $67 million construction budget, a compilation of individual line item estimates that was part of the $81 million overall project cost approved in referendum last November, Khericha said.

If bids come in under budget, the borough, rather than O & G, receives the money saved, Khericha said. If bids come in over budget, however, O & G will not lose money.

The construction firm will meet with the building committee every month to ensure things are proceeding smoothly and spending is on track, Neth said. The building committee will not let O & G hire subcontractors for more than their estimated cost without good reason, Neth said.

“We will not exceed $81 million,” Neth said. “Matter of fact, our goal is to be below $81 million. We have a long-term future for the rest of the school system that we need to look at.”

Construction is scheduled to begin in November and end in August 2015. Work could be completed as early as February 2015, which would make the whole project cheaper, including the profit margin for the construction management company, Neth said.