Newport Civic Center cost could climb by $2.2M

The city of Newport Beach may fork over almost $2.2 million more toward its nearly $140-million Civic Center Project.

The City Council will vote Tuesday on a proposed settlement for contractors’ project-related claims, which include compensation for revised skylight supports, substitute walkway concrete and custom mounting bolts.

Several subcontractors submitted claims totaling more than $9 million to builder C.W. Driver after the project’s completion in April, according to the city’s staff report.

The subcontractors wanted payment for unforeseen costs known as change orders that the city previously rejected and to make up for alleged project delays, the staff report continues.

C.W. Driver negotiated with the subcontractors to reduce the claims to an amount unknown by the city and proposed absorbing most of the settlement costs, according to City Manager Dave Kiff.

Of the almost $2.5 million for which the city would be responsible under the proposal, $200,000 would come from funds previously allocated for Civic Center architect Bohlin Cywinski Jackson and $82,142 from a project contingency fund, leaving Newport to pay $2,199,430.

The remaining obligation to settle the claims will be assigned to C.W. Driver, Kiff said.

Costs related to the claims would likely have doubled, or more than doubled, if the issue were taken to court, Kiff wrote in an email.

As part of the settlement with landscaping group Park West, some of the walkways that appear cracked will be repaired at the company’s cost.

The walkways were paved with a material called NaturalPAVE, specified by landscape architect Peter Walker Partners, according to the staff report.

Investigation indicated “potential material failure,” the report says, but the manufacture assigned fault to its installation.

Staff recommended that the council approve the settlement amount, even if many of the claims are unwarranted.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at 100 Civic Center Drive.