Construction Manager at Risk Selected for New Los Banos Courthouse

for release
Contact: Teresa Ruano, 415-865-7447
March 2, 2012
Construction Manager at Risk Selected for New Los Banos Courthouse


SAN FRANCISCO—The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has announced the selection of HMH Builders (Harbison-Mahony-Higgins Builders Inc.) as the construction manager at risk (CMAR) for the new Los Banos courthouse for the Superior Court of Merced County. The CMAR method entails a commitment to deliver the project within a guaranteed maximum price. HMH Builders, based in Sacramento, submitted the winning proposal to provide preconstruction services, planning, and construction management services, which will include solicitation of bids from subcontractors.

“This is great news. We look forward to the assistance of this firm with our new Los Banos Courthouse project,” said Brian McCabe, Presiding Judge of the Merced Superior Court.

In business for more than 50 years, HMH Builders has completed numerous Northern California public projects. It was ranked among the top five general contractors by the Sacramento Business Journal in its Structures 2011: Architecture, Engineering and Construction, a regional publication that recognizes design and construction excellence.

The AOC uses the CMAR method for delivery of major capital projects such as the new Los Banos courthouse. The competitive selection process factors in qualitative criteria, such as the firm’s experience, as well as the contractor’s fee. The CMAR is retained early in the project for preconstruction services. Following a competitive bid for all subcontracts and the approval to award, the CMAR becomes the general contractor for the project. For this competitive selection, the AOC received 10 submissions and conducted interviews with six short-listed firms, from which HMH Builders was selected.

The bidding process for subcontractors is expected to take place in late 2013, with prequalification preceding that. Selection criteria for the project CMAR included an evaluation of the firm’s plan for outreach to local subcontractors, ensuring that qualified local firms are fully aware of the bidding opportunity, process, and timeline. Local outreach will begin immediately. All qualified subcontractors, lower-tier subcontractors, and suppliers will be considered.

The first phase of architectural design for the new courthouse, by the firm of Williams + Paddon, is now under way. The courthouse, to improve access to justice for western Merced County residents, will be located on 4.6 acres at the intersection of Mercey Springs Road and G Street. The new structure will house two courtrooms in approximately 29,500 square feet. It is expected to become the anchor building in a new government center at the Gateway Complex, with plans to include other county and city government buildings. The project will incorporate forward-thinking elements of sustainable design and is expected to qualify for a LEED Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. Numerous energy-saving features will make the courthouse more economical to operate over time.

The courthouse project is scheduled to begin construction in early 2014 and be completed in early 2015. It was ranked as an “immediate need” in the judicial branch’s capital-outlay plan, making it among the branch’s highest-priority infrastructure projects. It is funded by Senate Bill 1407, enacted in 2008 to provide up to $5 billion in funding for new and renovated courthouses using court fees, penalties, and assessments with no impact on the state’s General Fund.

More information about the project is available on the California Courts website.

More information about HMH Builders is at http://www.hmh.com/

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