Post Classifieds

Rentenbach may be penalized for missing deadline

By Dylan Chesser
On April 6, 2014

The Tennessee Board of Regents might withhold a portion of the money owed to Rentenbach Construction due to the company's failure to complete the parking garage on deadline.
The parking garage opened for student parking March 31, about eight months later than the university hoped to open the structure to students.
The contract between TBR and Rentenbach Construction set the deadline for completion of the parking garage for mid-October; however, due to inclement weather and issues obtaining necessary building materials, the construction of the facility was delayed.
TBR may see fit to pursue liquidated damages, a method of penalizing a construction company for not meeting its deadline, on this project.
"My understanding is that when [Rentenbach] saw Phase 1 running late, they worked out a 'deal' to redirect forces to finish Phase 2 surface lot first," said Keith Robinson, TBR director of construction management and facilities development, in an email obtained via open records request. "... This might mitigate the lateness. Contractor has also made claim for time extension, which designer initially favored, then I challenged, and contractor rebutted, but designer has made no final decision.
"The lack of communication coming from the designer regarding their monkeying with the contract time requirements is disturbing."
ETSU is in favor of assessing liquidated damages against Rentenbach Construction for the late completion of the parking garage.
"As far as we're concerned, we're in liquidated damages, said David Collins, vice president for finance and administration, in a previous interview. "They're going to have to pay us $2,500 a day. They will be asking the board, and already have, for additional days for this, that and the other, if it's beyond their control. They're be negotiation back and forth."
If the board chooses to pursue this option, it will dock the amount it was set to pay the construction company when the project was completed.
"[Liquidated damages] will be a negotiation on exactly what amount is due and when any final payments are made on contracts, those kind of things would be deducted," Collins said. "Again, I have no control over that; that's strictly done through the board of regents."
The contract between TBR and Rentenbach Construction sets the amount the board can charge the construction company at $2,500 for every day the garage remains incomplete after the deadline.
Though the garage was not completed until approximately five months after the deadline set forth in the project contract, TBR will take into account the number of days it was impossible, due to inclement weather, for Rentenbach to do work on the project before assessing liquidated damages against Rentenbach.
"Any contract calls for a certain number of weather days," Collins said.
"... They will be keeping up with that [wet weather days]. They will be allowed extra days. That always really becomes a negotiation."

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