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GSA’s new strategy in western Massachusetts renders $1.5 million in savings

From left, going clockwise, The Harold D. Donohue Federal Office Building and Courthouse in Worcester, the Silvio O’ Conte Federal Building in Pittsfield, the Philbin Federal Building in Fitchburg and the  Springfield U.S. Courthouse in Springfield.In order to achieve The U.S. General Administration's goal of reducing building operating costs across the New England region, an innovative acquisition strategy was proposed.

The new strategy, which will yield a savings of $1.5 million over a five year period, consolidated services for janitorial and operations and maintenance (O&M) at four federal buildings in western Massachusetts – The Harold D. Donohue Federal Office Building and Courthouse in Worcester, the Silvio O’ Conte Federal Building in Pittsfield, the Philbin Federal Building in Fitchburg and the Springfield U.S. Courthouse in Springfield.

This consolidation effort was 100 percent set aside for small business and was awarded based on best value.

Competitive proposals were received from a range of firms but the contract was awarded, effective May 1, to J’s Associates, LLC, a women-owned small business based in Maryland.

"Our new Western Massachusetts O&M contract achieves significant cost savings over previous contracts - $1.5 million or 28 percent - by using innovative contracting approaches and it ensures high quality service our agency customers expect and deserve,” said PBS Regional Commissioner Glenn Rotondo. “I am very proud of our team."

Furthermore, all buildings significantly cut down their cost per square foot price, bringing GSA building operating costs closer in range to industry prices. The team was able to do this by allowing all four buildings to share off-site labor, on-site labor, maintenance tools and equipment, and uniforms, while also maintaining the current level of service.

Additionally, it relied on the vendors to present creative staffing solutions as part of their proposal.

GSA Awards $23M Construction Contract to Upgrade Derby Line Port

Aerial view of Derby Line Land Port of Entry in Vermont with mountains in the background and a lawn in the foregroundU.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) will be getting a much needed new Land Port of Entry in Derby Line, VT.

GSA Region 1, with support from Region 5 – Great Lakes – awarded the design assist phase of a $22.7 million Construction Manager as Constructor (CMc) contract to D.E.W. Construction of Williston, Vermont.

The contract is for a replacement facility for the outdated Derby Line (I-91) Land Port of Entry (LPOE) for CBP.

D.E.W will provide design assist services for the refinement and completion of the 100 percent construction documents prior to construction phase services.

The contract will allow for replacement of the outdated facility, which sits on 4.5 acres of land in Vermont at the end of Route I-91.

The project includes:

  • A new commercial inspection building with a two bay commercial loading dock, cargo storage, lab space, kennel, public counter space and CBP work areas
  • A new main port building with administrative offices, processing and immigration services spaces and a violator retention area
  • A photovoltaic solar array
  • New inspection booths, canopies and lane configurations

Additional site improvements to the LPOE, which was built in the 1960s, consist of new lighting, fire protection, water service, sanitary sewer, site drainage and stormwater management systems, improvements to paving, signage, electrical service and a new access drive.

“Upgrading one of the key commercial ports of Vermont while strengthening our border infrastructure are important priorities,” said Regional Administrator Robert Zarnetske. “GSA is delighted to be able to announce this long anticipated project will begin this summer.”

What makes this project so unique is that it is the first at GSA to incorporate and require climate risk analysis as part of the Architect-Engineer (A/E) Statement of Work (SOW).

With Region 1 taking the lead, more than 30 subsequent projects are using or adapting the climate risk sections of Region 1’s A/E SOWs. These projects include the FBI Headquarters in Washington, Volpe’s Department of Transportation in Cambridge, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of State - Embassy Division, and GSA’s John Joseph Moakley Courthouse upgrades in Boston.

The project was designed by HGA, an award winning IDIQ firm from Minnesota with extensive LPOE experience, and draws from the natural and manmade influences of the Vermont landscape.

During the beginning stages of design, team members were able to engage the artists in the Art in Architecture program, a program that oversees the commissioning of artworks for new federal buildings nationwide, which led to a highly integrated teaming between artists and architect.

Because art at a Land Port of Entry cannot compromise security or visibility, the team of Vermont artists, Andrea Wasserman and Elizabeth Billings, put together a highly integrated art concept that will engage with the building’s facade with no impact to CBP operations.

The artists were also interested in representing the Vermont landscape in different forms, making for a highly successful integration with the architecture of the port.

The artists’ concept includes wood, glass and concrete forms. Both the interior and exterior Art in Architecture installations will provide a “continuous sense of momentum that gives pause to the activity of moving through the Port of Entry, as a doorway into Vermont.”

Overall, the building will be designed to be more energy efficient, sustainable and certified as a LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council. The updated port, in the end, will not only offer a secure environment but will also exhibit strong works of art and architecture. 

News in Brief

Van Buren LPOE wins national award

Van Buren Land Port of Entry in MaineThe U.S. Land Port of Entry in Van Buren, Maine recently received the American Institute of Architects’ Honor Award, the profession’s highest acknowledgement!

Located on a bluff overlooking the St. John River in northern Aroostook County, the border station was one of 11 recipients to be recognized on Jan. 15 for its excellence in architecture.

A beautiful example of the U.S. General Services Administration’s Design Excellence Program, the LPOE blends perfectly with its surrounding landscape, and provides “a modern contextual response to a small border town – pastoral and well scaled,” stated Jury Chair Josiah Stevenson, FAIA.

“For over twenty years, the Design Excellence Program has challenged today's architects to design tomorrow's legacy buildings that, first, provide efficient and economical facilities for the use of government agencies; and second, provide visual testimony to the dignity, enterprise, vigor, and stability of the American Government,” said PBS Regional Commissioner Glenn Rotondo.

While the building’s design elegantly mirrors the forests and sunsets of Maine, the large glass windows set in the dark bronze aluminum walls permit excellent surveillance, as officers are able to monitor the site from various locations throughout the building.

Completed in 2013, the “Z”-shaped configuration of the building, two large canopies, and inspection booths shield staffers from the extreme weather conditions that can occur in northern Maine. The newly constructed port replaces an outdated and undersized facility that was damaged by flooding in 2008.

The Design Architect, Snow Kreilich Architects (formerly Julie Snow Architects) of Minneapolis, MN, submitted the LPOE for the award.

Last Reviewed 2016-06-07