The default and temporary shutdown just before New Year's Day of ASI Ltd., a principal subcontractor on the $825-million Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., has delayed completion of the arena's enclosure and forced extra effort by the project's prime contractor, Hunt Construction Group, to keep on track for scheduled completion later this year.
For Hunt, the default “is making their life a little difficult,” says Robert P. Sanna, director of construction for Forest City Ratner Cos., the developer.
ASI's default “is untimely, to say the least,” Sanna says. But he adds that he is gratified to see all the parties involved cooperating to keep work moving forward.
Based in Whitestown, Ind., ASI holds a nearly $50-million contract to fabricate and erect the special “pre-weathered” rusted-steel façade panels on the arena. ASI's surety, Ohio Farmers Insurance Co., is operating the company.
In a terse letter “To Whom It May Concern” dated Dec. 30, 2011, ASI CEO Ken Smith said the company had suspended operations at its Whitestown fabrication facility.
"Management is currently is [sic] reviewing its financial viability moving forward," Smith said. "It is hopeful that we can recommence operations sometime in the near future.”
News reports stated the shutdown temporarily idled 250 employees in Whitestown, but operations restarted soon after.
"[Ohio Farmers] has assumed management and monitoring responsibilities for ASI's scope of work, supplementing the ASI personnel that have been involved since the start of the contract," says Mark Gladden, project executive for Hunt. Its contract includes a guaranteed maximum price.
All payments from Hunt now are being made directly to Ohio Farmers, and the surety is paying ASI's subcontractors, vendors and suppliers.
Ohio Farmers/ASI have leased and put in place at the ASI facility an extra CNC machine for the cutting and fabrication of aluminum extrusions, says Gladden.
"Hunt has asked, and Ohio Farmers/ASI has reached out to three separate additional fabricators to determine if these shops have the technical means and available time to assist in fabrication," Gladden says.
The sequencing remains the same, says Gladden. The enclosure will be completed later than scheduled. Rather than delaying work until the walls have been installed, additional temporary enclosures, required to protect some interior spaces, will be used, he says.
"Hunt remains confident that we will complete the project as scheduled," Gladden says.
According to U.S. Glass, an industry publication, ASI had 2010 sales of $65.2 million. Smith could not be reached immediately for comment.