HE HISTORIC AND ICONIC ART
Deco Union Terminal and Museum Center in Cincinnati is undergoing a $212.7 million upgrade and renovation, with an em- phasis on preserving its architectural heritage. Close to 540,000 square feet of space is being renovated inside the terminal, which was built in 1933 and houses a working train station and the Cincinnati Museum Center. The terminal was declared a Na- tional Historic Land- mark in 1976 and is one of the finest ex- amples of art deco architecture in the United States— including the light- ing fixtures. In March, ESI Electrical Contrac- tors of Cincinnati was awarded the contract to manage the electrical component of the project, which is estimated to reach $22 million and covers a new lighting system for the interior and exterior, replacement of the wiring, and fire alarm and power distribution systems. The project is scheduled for completion in October. ESI is partner- ing with United Electric, another Cin- cinnati contractor.
An Early Assist
Early on, the two electrical contrac- tors brought in Becker Electric Supply of Cincinnati to assist in the bid prep- aration phase for the project.
“I was there all the way through the bidding process,” said Marvin Schultz, director of lighting sales at Becker. “I have been involved since September 2015. This is the largest historical project I’ve worked on.” Tom Schroth, ESI president, knew the value that Schultz brought to the bidding process. “We brought him in early,” he recalled. “This was a design assist project from the get-go and there have been difficulties getting our arms around the historical lighting package and understanding what the entire scope of the work is—what we needed to replace, refurbish, and clean and relamp, and the current condition of all of the historical items. It took a lot of time and effort and several site visits to figure out the condition of the existing historical fixtures, as there are quite a few that needed to be refurbished. “Marvin [Schultz ] was instrumen- tal in helping us with various histor- ical folks,” he added. “Otherwise, we would end up with a contract with questions about what scopes were in- cluded and what may not have been.” Larry Farrell, United general man- ager, also depends on Schultz’s exper- tise, dedication, and experience. “It’s taken a long time to get where we are and there are always budget issues
AN ARTFUL ENTRY
Becker Electric’s assist in the bid preparation phase helps
contractors secure iconic Cincinnati upgrade and renovation.
and things to work out,” he said. “But it’s been a good thing and a win-win for all involved. This is an important project for the commun- ity. We appreciate the effort that Schultz and Becker’s lighting de- partment have offered to the team. Their expertise and support have been a true asset to the design assist effort and in keeping the project within budget.” Added Schultz: “It’s about un- derstanding the expectations that everybody has of one another and building on that. Trust is the biggest part of that.” The museum board learned the value of the electrical team it was bringing on board last July when Schultz, along with Schroth and Farrell, attended a six-hour meeting with 35 people involved with the planning for the project. “That was where we delivered the cost savings of $500,000,” ex- plained Schultz. “At that point, they realized the value that I was bring- ing to the team. Prior to that, most of my interaction was with ESI and United. This is a group effort and ESI and United have good people who helped us through the whole process. There will be a lot of eyes on the jobsite, and if I miss some- thing, they’ll pick it up and vice versa. It is something we’ve done for many years on many major projects in Cincinnati—we have confidence in one another and we’re all on the same page because the project is very complex.” The electrical parts aspect of the project could exceed $10 million once all the plans are approved and additional contracts are awarded for the security system and the the- atrical lights. Nearly 30% of the cur- rent lighting package, entirely LED, is for restoration work on the an- tique fixtures. “That’s the toughest part of the project,” said Schultz. “Some repli- cations are needed because the fix-
We appre- ciate the effort that Schultz and Becker’s lighting department have offered to the team. Their expertise and support have been a true asset to the design assist effort and in keeping the project within budget.
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