Volmar Construction has begun work at the College Point Sports Complex, replacing ADC Contracting, which was removed by the city for shoddy workmanship.
Department of Design and Construction spokesman Matthew Monahan said on Monday that his agency selected Volmar after the surety agent with ADC Contracting did not recommend a replacement in 25 business days. “They defaulted by not providing a name. When that happens, the city then takes on the project under a requirements contract,” Monahan said.
Volmar Construction was selected because it did the original grading and utility work at the sports complex prior to the $3.6-million project to restore the ballfields, build bleachers, a comfort station and roller hockey rink. “They know the area,” Monahan added.
DDC sent a notice to ADC Contracting in December to stop work at the sports complex because it had not met its obligations in a timely manner and the work done was considered inferior. Based on city regulations, a firm becomes in default due to failure to complete work as directed and required and failure to meet the completion schedule that the contractor agreed to, which, in this case, was last September.
Despite several extensions granted by the DDC, Monahan said the work still was not completed by ADC Contracting and the quality was poor. By mid-November of last year, the firm still had not met its final deadline.
The 22-acre site on 130th and Ulmer Streets, between 23rd and 26th Avenues, has been fraught with problems for over six years. In 1997, the city shut down the fields for safety reasons due to illegal dumping of unsafe fill. The company was secured by the College Point Sports Association, which ran the complex. It promised to regrade the fields using legal construction debris for free. After a lengthy delay, the city was forced to remove the 36,700 cubic yards of illegal fill at a cost of $10 million.
Since that time, the city has taken back the fields, which it leased to the sports association for $1 a year. When the current project is finished, the complex will be operated by the Parks Department.
All aspects of work at the complex have not been completed, Monahan said and entirely redoing the hockey rink still has to be determined. Jerry Castro, president of the College Point Little League, said the fields were in terrible condition with drainage so bad they would be impossible to play on.
Monahan stressed that DDC is determined to get the fields finished in time for spring playing. “The weather has been tough this winter and will play a significant role (in finishing the project.) But our objective is for a spring completion.”
He said the bulk of the project involved finishing uncompleted work or correcting mistakes made by the original contractor.
Last April, the man held responsible for dumping the illegal fill as head of Enviro-Fill pleaded guilty and agreed to pay the city $250,000, in addition to probation and a three-month weekend jail sentence.
The city announced last October that it had filed a $16.5-million lawsuit for damages against the owners of Enviro-Fill and the sports association.