Turner Construction, Santa Clara County Get Back Together

It was only a matter of time until these two got back together. There’s just so much history!

On Friday, Santa Clara County officials announced that they have reached an agreement to resume a partnership with Turner Construction to complete construction at Valley Medical Center. The story was first reported by the Business Journal.

All that jealousy and envy—and those lawsuits?—are things of the past.

Those blessed with a strong memory will remember that way back when, in September, the county was lobbing very rude barbs and publicizing video of a worker in an exploding manhole. County Executive Jeff Smith was especially peeved about costly delays on the $380 million project. He said the firm had given the county nothing but “empty promises,” which is just so typical.

But now the two sides have reunited, and we should be happy for them.

“This agreement is good for patients and taxpayers,” Smith said in a statement. “Over the past month, Turner’s CEO, Peter Davoren, approached the County with a firm commitment on completion costs as well as a collaborative approach to finish the project in a reasonable time period. We now have a budget and timeline we can count on.”

Sometimes you gotta humble yourself to make amends.

The new agreement caps costs at $85 million, and while an independent analysis by the Boldt Company “estimated that cost to complete could reach $126 million,” nothing is going to stop these two now.

Below is the county’s press release:

The County of Santa Clara and Turner Construction finalized an agreement to complete the construction of the Hospital Bed Building and the North Utility Loop at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) with additional costs capped at $85 million.  The County anticipates the project to be completed by mid-2017. 

A recent independent analysis conducted by The Boldt Company estimated that cost to complete could reach $126 million.  However, that estimate did not include resolution of substantial pending Turner and subcontractor past claims or the potential cost of litigation estimated to be several million more.   This agreement resolves the past claims and litigation will end.   Both sides will now be focused on project completion.

“This agreement is good for patients and taxpayers,” said County Executive Jeffrey V. Smith, M.D., J.D. “Over the past month, Turner’s CEO, Peter Davoren, approached the County with a firm commitment on completion costs as well as a collaborative approach to finish the project in a reasonable time period. We now have a budget and timeline we can count on.”

In addition to the firm cost controls and completion schedule, Turner Construction has pledged the direct involvement of its CEO for the remainder of the project, ensuring strong oversight of the project by the company’s top executives. The County and Turner Construction have also agreed to appoint new on-site project managers as well.

“We are eager to see the Bed Building finished as soon as possible,” stated Paul Lorenz, CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.  “Bringing this new, modern facility on line will help improve the patient care of our expectant mothers, physical rehabilitation patients and burn center patients.”

 The agreement comes after the County terminated Turner Construction from the project in September of 2015.  Since that time, the County hired The Boldt Company to conduct an independent analysis of the estimated cost to complete the project and an estimated schedule to complete the remaining work. During this period, the County was in discussions with several national construction firms on completing the project. 

“This is a fresh start for the project,” said Smith.  “Turner knows the project better than any other firm.  With their new team in place and the personal involvement of Mr. Davoren, I’m confident we can complete the bed building in a timely manner and improve services to the patients we serve.”

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.

4 Comments

  1. “The new agreement caps costs at $85 million, and while an independent analysis by the Boldt Company “estimated that cost to complete could reach $126 million…” An agreement that lopsided does not bode well for either party.

  2. Jeff Smith likes to fire people without due diligence, just like he fired a reputable chief of medicine physician, more than 1000 people objected his dismissal. County now has paid a few million tax payer money in settlement to the doctor who donated it to charity. Why fire Turner if county had no choice but to go back to them to finish the job, reflects huge inefficiency and arrogance on part of county.

  3. I bet one of Sam Liccardo’s construction buddies could have done it cheaper! Oh wait Turner is one of his buddies. LOL Ill have to look up Turners campaign contributions to SAM’s Measure B fiasco… It all comes full circle

  4. Jeff Smith is a disaster. Every member of the Board of Supervisors should be voted out of office if they don’t finally fire Smith. Poor oversight of valley med, the mess he caused with Rural Metro, misappropriation of funds, staff abuses unreported, and the list goes on. He is bad for SCC and has cost the taxpayers millions. He is the laughing stock around the State.