University of Lethbridge appoints construction manager for new science and academic building

PCL Construction Management Inc. of Calgary will lead the construction of a new science and academic building at the University of Lethbridge – a key component of the Destination Project.

The firm, which will also be responsible for building an energy and utility centre needed to support the science and academic building, was chosen by the U of L’s Board of Governors based on a recommendation made by the Destination Project Steering Committee.

PCL will provide important insight on constructability, logistics, and procurement and scheduling throughout the remainder of the design process. The firm will then ultimately manage and oversee construction, says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andy Hakin.

“This is a very important step for this project,” says Hakin. “The work undertaken by PCL will be vital to the successful construction of the first phase of the Destination Project.”

In making its recommendation, the steering committee used specific grading criterion – similar to that used to choose KPMB/Stantec Architecture as leads of the design of the project. The selection process included a formal response to the Request for Proposal, formal interviews including on-site interviews, fees and disbursements, and an extensive reference review.

PCL is a group of independent construction companies that carries out work throughout Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Australia. These diverse operations in the civil infrastructure, heavy industrial and buildings markets are supported by a strategic presence in 31 major centres. Together, these companies have an annual construction volume of more than $7 billion, making PCL the largest contracting organization in Canada and one of the largest in North America. The company’s operations centre for southern Alberta has been located in Calgary since 1947.

PCL has completed projects of similar scale to the proposed U of L project, including the Trades and Technology Complex and Power Engineering Lab at SAIT and the Health Research Innovation Centre and the Teaching, Research and Wellness Building at the University of Calgary.

The company was also the construction manager for the University of Lethbridge’s first building, University Hall, completed in 1972.

In December 2013, the Government of Alberta announced a $200-million commitment to the Destination Project. Previously, the province invested $12.5 million towards the planning process of the project.

Brian Sullivan, program director for the Destination Project, says that while PCL will be responsible for managing the construction of the overall project, local businesses are expected to undertake a significant portion of the work.

“This project will rely on a lot of local businesses and subcontractors, as all of our major construction projects do. The economic impact of this project on our city will be significant.”