Federal agencies also began to let ARRA work by the summer. The Naval Facilities Engineering Command awarded a $40.9 million fixed-price contract to Barton Malow of Linthicum, Md., for renovation at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. The project, which is scheduled for completion by August 2011, includes work at the King Hall Galley and other food service operations.

Grunley Construction of Rockville, Md., is among the field of firms reaping awards under the U.S. General Service Administration’s ARRA funding for modernization of federal buildings. Grunley and its joint venture partner Gilbane Building of Laurel, Md., won a $158 million contract for Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Herbert C. Hoover Building modernization project in Washington. The project, which began in August, modernizes nearly 400,000-sq-ft of space, including security upgrades, exterior façade repair and energy efficiency upgrades. Completion is expected by June 2013. The partners are currently completing the $40 million first phase of the eight-phase project.

Grunley was also awarded a $34.9 million contract funded through ARRA to complete renovations to the Mary E. Switzer Building in Washington. Grunley completed Phase 1 in 2008, but money was not allocated to continue the project until the passage of ARRA. Phase 2 involves modernization of 311,000 sq ft of building space and the construction of a new 18,000-sq-ft addition. In addition to complete removal of the existing interior and the installation of systems upgrades, Grunley will convert the 6th and 7th floor mechanical spaces into open office space. The project, designed by HNTB, will strive to achieve LEED Silver. Work began in July with completion scheduled for July 2011.

While many firms are landing jobs with familiar clients, ARRA has created opportunities to forge new relationships. Simeral Construction of Lititz, Pa., was awarded a $5.3 million contract by the Reading Housing Authority for kitchen, lobby and electrical renovations at five high-rise buildings in the City of Reading. The 10-month project, which began in August, marks the first time that Simeral has worked with a housing authority. Custom residential was a large portion of the company’s work a few years ago, but as that market dried up, the company sees housing authority work as a way to keep the company’s 33 employees working, says Project Manager Dale Shenk.

“We employ a lot of carpenters, so the scope of this work suits us,” he said. “If it keeps us from having to lay people off and helps our guys feed their families, that’s what’s important.”