NRG Energy Co. of Princeton, N.J., continues the permit process for the South Texas Project, which entails construction and operation of two additional advanced boiling water reactor nuclear powered generating units in Bay City. David Knox, spokesman for NRG, says the company anticipates construction on the $10-billion project to begin in 2012, with the first unit operational in 2016 and the second in 2017.

Fluor Corp. of Irving, will oversee construction for Toshiba America Nuclear Energy of Alexandria, Va., which holds the engineering, procurement and construction contract.

STP Nuclear Operating Co. of Wadsworth, Texas, will manage the new units. CPS Energy of San Antonio will own the units along with Nuclear Innovation North America, a nuclear development company jointly owned by NRG Energy and Toshiba Corp. of Japan.

In May, Tokyo Electric Power Co. agreed to purchase a 10% share of Nuclear Innovation North America’s 92.375% interest in STP 3 & 4 once the new units receive a U.S. Dept. of Energy loan guarantee. TEPCO also has an option to buy a 10% additional stake in the development.

Education and health care

Ewing Construction received a $2-million design-build contract for a new tennis facility at Texas A&M University’s Corpus Christi campus. It includes 12 tennis courts and office facilities. The company expects to begin work this month on a $13-million fine-arts center expansion at Delmar College in Corpus Christi.

The $23-million Science & Technology Learning Center for the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College by SpawGlass is expected to finish in March. The building includes an emergency operating center, as well as classrooms, laboratories and offices.

SpawGlass began work earlier this year on the $17-million, three-story University of Texas Marine Science Institute Reserve Headquarters and Lab Expansion at the University of Texas in Port Aransas.

Contractors are also working on some K-12 projects. SpawGlass expects to complete an $18-million performing arts center for Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District.

HDR designed the $22-million renovation and modernization of the John Sealy Hospital at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. The project will convert four-bed pods into two-bed pods. The project includes approximately 45,000 sq ft of renovated area on three floors, as well as a significant upgrade to mechanical, electrical and plumbing and utility infrastructure directly related to the building.

Looking ahead

SpawGlass’ Capistran says economists continue voicing words of caution, which indicates a pickup in work may not be imminent.

“We are looking forward to whenever it makes a turn,” Skanska’s Massey says. “And I think we still have sometime before we see that.”

The AGC’s Vaughn adds that while contractors hope to see light at the end of the tunnel, “unfortunately, it’s still somewhat cloudy.”