Department of Public Works

 

 

 

 

 

 

At a Glance

 

RAEANNE V. CURTIS, Commissioner

Jonathan Holmes, Deputy Commissioner

David O’Hearn, Deputy Commissioner

Established - 1987

Statutory authority – CGS Chapters 59 and 60, 4b-1 et seq.

Central office - 165 Capitol Avenue,

Hartford, CT 06106

Number of permanent full-time employees – 185

Recurring operating expenses – $56.4 million

Organizational structure - Office of the Commissioner; Facilities Management; and Design and Construction.

 

 

 

Mission

To be the leader in providing quality facilities and in delivering cost-effective, responsive, timely services to state agencies in the areas of planning, design, construction, facilities management, leasing, property disposition and security.

With our diverse, competent workforce, to partner with our customers and industry providers, to make the best use of the state’s resources.

 

Statutory Responsibility

     The Department of Public Works (DPW) is responsible for the design and construction of nearly all major state facility capital projects, leasing and property acquisitions for most state agencies, facility management, maintenance and security of state buildings in the greater Hartford area as well as certain properties outside of the Hartford area, and the administrative functions of establishing and maintaining security standards for certain state facilities and surplus property statewide.

     The department also assists agencies and departments with long-term facilities planning and the preparation of cost estimates for such plans.

     DPW provides facility-related services to the majority of Connecticut’s state agencies and commissions. Many DPW services, such as fire protection, preventive maintenance, building improvements, recycling, housekeeping, security, parking and snow and ice removal, also benefit members of the public who visit the facilities.  It is the policy of DPW to work in close cooperation with its client agencies to ensure that the finished product reflects the needs of the agency and facilitates the delivery of their services for their clients.

 

Improvements/Achievements 2008-09

Construction Services

     During fiscal year 2008-09, DPW completed several significant construction projects including:

¨      A new, consolidated, Three Rivers Community College in Norwich at a cost of approximately $65 million.

¨      A new addition and renovations at Norwich Technical High School, Mohegan Campus, in Norwich at a cost of approximately $49.2 million.

¨      A new Science Building at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic at a cost of approximately $45.8 million.

¨      A new addition and renovations at E.C. Goodwin Technical High School in New Britain at a cost of approximately $44.3 million.

¨      A new Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center in Bridgeport at a cost of approximately $39.6 million.

¨      A new addition and renovations at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport at a cost of approximately $38 million.

¨      A new addition and renovations at Howell Cheney Technical High School in Manchester at a cost of approximately $36 million.

¨      A new Technology Building at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury at a cost of approximately $25 million.

¨      A new Connecticut Aero Tech School for Aviation Maintenance Technicians at Brainard Airport in Hartford at a cost of approximately $10 million.

 

     Major projects at the state technical high schools and at the community colleges constituted a substantial portion of DPW’s construction services program in fiscal year 2008-09.  Construction continued during the year at Prince Tech in Hartford, Kaynor Tech in Waterbury, and Abbott Tech in Danbury.  State technical high school projects presently in the design stage include additions and renovations at O’Brien Tech in Ansonia, Whitney Tech in Hamden, Wilcox Tech in Meriden, Ellis Tech in Danielson, and Wright Tech in Stamford.

 

     Additional DPW projects currently in the construction stage and planned for completion later in 2009 are the new $32 million Great Path Academy at Manchester Community College in Manchester; a new $14.1 million Military Department Readiness Center at Camp Rell in Niantic; a new $5.3 million addition at the Connecticut Forensic Science Laboratory, Phase III, for the Department of Public Safety in Meriden; a new $2.6 million Police Facility at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic; and a new $2.1 million Services Building, Phase I, at Hammonasset Beach State Park for the Department of Environmental Protection in Madison.

 

     Another major project for the Connecticut Army National Guard, the new Regional Training Institute, Phase I, at Camp Rell in Niantic, has entered the construction phase.  This design-build contract for $27.5 million, which is federally funded, was signed on

April 15, 2009.  Completion is scheduled for 2011.

 

     Presently, DPW’s largest project is the planned new campus for Gateway Community College on Church Street in downtown New Haven.  Estimated at a total cost of $198 million, this state-of-the-art 360,000 square foot higher education project is expected to break ground in the fall of 2009.  Touting an environmentally friendly design with sustainable building construction, the facility will be the state’s first gold-certified LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) public building.  Completion is scheduled for 2012.

 

     In addition to Gateway Community College, a key DPW project that completed the design stage during the year and is scheduled to start construction in the fall of 2009 is the $3 million Silver Sands State Park/Walnut Beach Boardwalk in Milford.  One million dollars of this project is federally funded.  Completion is expected in October 2010.

 

     During the fiscal year, the DPW Energy Unit received notification that $5 million in federal funding has been approved through the U.S. Department of Energy for DPW energy-saving projects at 16 state facilities.  Earlier in the fiscal year, the energy unit, working with the Office of Policy and Management, had compiled a list of potential energy-saving projects from various state agencies and submitted it for inclusion in the State Energy Plan to obtain federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.  The next step will be for the energy unit to arrange for detailed energy audits of the listed buildings and move forward to design, bidding, and construction in those facilities.

 

     The DPW Energy Unit has also utilized funding from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to identify more than 50 energy-saving retrofit opportunities in various state buildings.  Measures involve lighting replacements, installation of occupancy sensors and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system controls, and replacement of major HVAC equipment.  The unit assigns on-call energy engineering firms to conduct audits, prepare analyses, make recommendations, prepare design documents for DPW approval, and bid out for implementation.  The unit also works with the Connecticut Light and Power Company to implement a similar program in a variety of state facilities.

 

     The Energy Unit is also responsible for the review and approval of Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) submissions for state-funded new buildings, additions and renovations, and state-funded municipal school projects.  During the year, the unit evaluated 45 LCCA submissions.

     The Energy Unit continued to work during the year with other state agencies, the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, the Connecticut Green Building Council, as well as design professionals and building contractors, to develop an information base and “best practices” regarding high performance, or “green,” buildings.

 

     The high performance building information is used to promote design and construction practices that significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment and on the occupants of those buildings.  The goal is to emphasize the positive effects of sustainable site planning, safeguarding water resources and ensuring water efficiency, maximizing the incorporation of energy efficiency and renewable energy, the conservation of materials and earth resources, and indoor environmental quality.  The Energy Unit also provides a resource for the General Assembly and the public to obtain detailed information and linkage to other organizations regarding high performance buildings.

 

     On Oct. 23, 2008, DPW held an Open House for prospective architectural, engineering, and construction administration firms interested in consulting work on DPW projects.  The event, held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, was designed to provide industry representatives the opportunity to meet DPW Bureau of Design and Construction personnel and to present their firms’ work and services.  The Construction Institute of the University of Hartford provided logistical support for the day’s activities.

 

Legal Services

     During the fiscal year, the Legal Services Division reviewed some 179 contract documents, involving consulting contracts and design build contracts, with a total value of $49.5 million.  They consisted of 19 contracts valued at a total of $37.3 million; 113 task letters valued at $5.7 million; 31 commission letters valued at $1.4 million; and 16 amendments valued at $4.9 million.

     The legal unit also reviewed design-bid-build contracts, real estate agreements, leases, license agreements, easements, construction manager at risk documents, professional service agreements, and the contract for the provision of chilled and hot water related to the purchase of the Capitol Area System (noted below).  The legal unit was also responsible for performing legal research, assisting in the preparation of legislation and processing requests under the Freedom of Information Act.  The latter included assisting state agencies by performing the review of records that may contain information constituting a risk to public safety if disclosed.

 

     On Jan. 27, 2009, the State of Connecticut purchased property located at 50 Field Street in Torrington, known as the Timken property, for the planned relocation and expansion of the Litchfield County Courthouse.  The state paid $2.3 million for property which consists of 5.5 acres of land and includes an existing office building of approximately 43,000 square feet.

 

     The Litchfield County Courthouse in Torrington project is expected to cost approximately $40 million and will include renovations to the existing office building and construction of a new four-story, 117,000 square foot court facility.  DPW is currently in the project design and construction planning process.  The actual construction and renovation of the court facilities is expected to take two years.

 

     Also during the fiscal year, the state purchased the Capitol Area District Heating and Cooling system in Hartford from the TEN Companies Inc.  The DPW Technical Services Unit was tasked with operation of the system.  The system currently serves ten state-owned and four private facilities in the vicinity of the Capitol, including the Bushnell Theater, with hot and chilled water for space heating and cooling.  On April 24, 2009, the state Bond Commission approved $11.6 million in funding for DPW to own and operate the underground steam and chilled-water system.  It is anticipated that the state will save nearly $1 million per year based on projected energy costs for the buildings served by the system.

 

     On Mar. 12, 2009, the State of Connecticut transferred 419 acres of the former Norwich State Hospital property to the Town of Preston for the sum of $1.00.  The sale was in conformance with the purchase and sale agreement between the state and town signed on Nov. 2, 2005.  That agreement had allowed the town three years to notify the state of its intent to purchase the property.  At the closing, the state agreed to maintain and insure the property for an additional year while the town formulates its plans for the development of the property.  As for the portion of the Norwich State Hospital property that is located in the City of Norwich, the city has a Purchase and Sale agreement with the state.  Under that agreement the city has the right to notify the state of its intention to purchase the property by January 25, 2010.

 

Facilities Management

     During fiscal year 2008-2009, the Facilities Management division revised the operating hours of its buildings in order to save on energy costs.

 

     Other cost savings reported by the Department’s Financial Office included a 60 percent reduction in advertising expenses due to limiting the size and content of ads and directing interested bidders to use the DPW website for additional information.  The Administration’s mandated purchasing limits produced an approximate savings of 63 percent on office supplies, and cleaning, repair and maintenance, and information technology supplies.  Services for premises repair and maintenance produced a savings over the previous fiscal year of 82 percent.

 

     The DPW Facilities Management division was reorganized during the year due to reduced staffing, and the Department met the reduced budget goals.  Objectives achieved by the division during the year included completion of the electrical decommissioning of the Fairfield Hills power plant in Newtown; the demolition of vacant buildings in Hartford and an obsolete water tower at the Altobello campus in Meriden.

 

     The division also completed numerous repairs involving preventative maintenance, Indoor Air Quality resolutions, and fire and safety code issues.  Space re-utilization planning was completed for the Rowland State Government Center in Waterbury, and lighting and occupancy sensors were installed.  Energy management systems were upgraded at 410-474 Capitol Avenue and 110 Sherman Street in Hartford, and lighting retrofits were completed at the 315 Buckingham Street parking garage, and at 10 Franklin Square in New Britain.

 

     During fiscal year 2008-09, DPW staff members again participated in several disaster preparedness drills and training sessions conducted by the state Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.

 

     DPW’s security unit continued to improve the overall level of security for state employees, clients, visitors, and assets of the State of Connecticut in both state-owned and leased facilities.

 

     In 2008–09, the leasing and property transfer unit’s portfolio consisted of approximately 2.7 million square feet of office space for 80 state agencies. There are 185 leases (a reduction of 10 leases from the previous period) and another 60 lease-outs for a total of 245 lease agreements.  During the fiscal year, four state leasing agents handled more than 100 different projects.

 

     The leasing unit continued its series of informational sessions for the agencies it serves, explaining the leasing process from start to finish.  The unit’s goal is to facilitate future leasing needs by ensuring that agencies know the proper procedures.

 

     During the year, DPW Leasing completed more than 20 leases which included sites for the Department of Children and Families in Middletown and Milford, and several sites for the Judicial Branch in Derby, Willimantic, Manchester, New Haven and Danbury.

 

     In addition to completing the transfer of a portion of the Norwich State Hospital to the Town of Preston and the acquisition of property in Torrington for the Litchfield County Courthouse, the DPW Property Transfer unit, in conjunction with the DPW Legal unit, purchased property in New Haven for the new Gateway Community College, and acquired the Milford Courthouse via completion of the lease-to-purchase agreement.

 

Information Reported as Required by Statute

     The DPW 2008 Affirmative Action Plan was brought into compliance with state regulations during the fiscal year.

 

     Subsequent to the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities’ (CHRO) disapproval of the plan at the May 13, 2009 Commission meeting, required revisions were implemented with CHRO technical assistance.  During DPW’s last Affirmative Action Reporting Period, the agency’s workforce consisted of 182 employees.  Of those represented, 57.1 percent were white males; 23 percent were white females; and 20.2 percent were minorities.

 

     The Department’s contract compliance record during the past year exceeded the goals set for both Small Business Enterprises (SBE) and Minority/Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MBE/WBE).  DPW achieved 165.7 percent of the SBE goal and 105.7 percent of the MBE/WBE goal.  In dollar amounts, the DPW goals were SBE - $4,721,386 and MBE/WBE - $1,180,346.  Of the year’s total expenditures, $11,295,828.89 went to SBE and $1,247,553.57 went to MBE/WBE.

 

     The Department is committed to the principles and practices of affirmative action and strives to increase the representation of women and minorities through providing opportunities for upward mobility, and promoting small and minority-owned businesses through a strong contract compliance program.