Magazine article Editor & Publisher

From Blueprint to Newsprint: Design-Build Sped Tribune-Review into Production Plant

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

From Blueprint to Newsprint: Design-Build Sped Tribune-Review into Production Plant

Article excerpt

To move more papers faster into the Pittsburgh market while improving its overall operations. Tribune-Review Publishing Co., Greensburg, Pa., contracted with Chicago-based McClier for a fast-track design-build project.

McClier said it completed the new plant in Marshall Township in 9 1/2 months. "I think I had temporary occupancy in less than eight months." remarked Tribune-Review operations director Kevin Lindgren (who, a few years before, oversaw another construction project on the other side of the state as operations director of the Allentown Morning Call).

"The speed on this thing was absolutely remarkable," said Lindgren, who remembered moving from design to digging in no more than two months. Plans, he said, were finished by McClier in June of 1996 and approved by the customer in July; final permitting was granted in mid-August; the land was bought on Aug. 18 and ground was broken the next day.

Last Aug. 15, after equipment installation and testing, the first advance-printed sections of the Tribune-Review's Pittsburgh edition rolled off the new plant's presses. Full daily production followed in September Circulation of the Greensburg and Pittsburgh editions (primarily Westmoreland and Allegheny counties, respectively) averages 85,699 daily and 143,252 Sunday.

The design-build approach, in which one firm performs everything from initial consultation to architecture, engineering and construction, provides economies of scale, eliminates vendor conflicts and speeds construction, according to McClier --- which also noted that the total cost for the Tribune-Review project was guaranteed-far earlier in the process than with traditional approaches." McClier said it completed the project under a guaranteed maximum cost and ahead of schedule.

Fast-track construction of Tribune-Review's $43 million NewsWorks facility began before its architure and engineering were complete, according to McClier. The foundation of the 145,000-square-foot plant was laid while design and bidding of mechanical and electrical systems were in progress.

Though a McClier project from start to finish, Tribune-Review did bring in a third party. The arrangement called for architect and design planning consultant Dario DiMare to act as something of ant/extreme devil's advocate."

Lindgren explained: "We were moving way, way, way too fast for just one pair of eyes. …

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