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AECOM Hunt lands Savannah arena contract

Engineering firm AECOM Hunt has been appointed as the construction manager for the new arena in the city of Savannah, Georgia, in the US.

Earlier this year, Savannah City Council gave the green light for plans to build a 9,000-seater arena at an approximate cost of $160m (£122.2m/€137.5m). This estimate has since been lowered to $140m.

Last week, the council voted 8-1 in favour of AECOM Hunt taking on the $11.2m management contract for the project, according to the Savannah Morning News.

The approval came after the council rejected a competing company’s appeal of City staff’s initial recommendation regarding the value of the contract.

The Savannah Morning News said a confusing proposal document was to blame for two other finalists calculating their fees differently to AECOM Hunt.

Concerns were raised when the recommended contract came in $3.9m more than City staff had initially reported.

This error was attributed to the City’s request that all bidding parties present construction manager fees, as a percentage of subcontracted and self-performed costs. All bidding parties did this, but only AECOM Hunt excluded the percentage from its final price in its proposal document as requested.

AECOM Hunt will now lead construction on the project, which includes an arena spread over an area of 269,000sq ft. The facility is set to feature 12 luxury suites and 450 club seats.

The new arena will be built in the west of Savannah’s historic district on city property.

Work is due to begin next year and is scheduled for completion by the summer of 2019.