The engineering company responsible for the design of the new Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park has requested more money for the job, raising the total contract cost by 9 percent.
The additional costs are connected with work that was not included in the original scope of the project, according to a letter sent by AECOM, the international engineering company carrying out the work, to the Atlantic County Improvement Authority (ACIA). The ACIA approved the request last month.
The new work, worth $28,031, takes the total cost of the job up to $766,421.00. A previous change order, approved by the ACIA in August, gave AECOM an additional $41,234.00. The original agreement was for $697,156.00.
The latest round of additions include changes to the design to add an “exterior cantilever canopy” and alterations to the tenant spaces, according to the letter. The work will be carried out by AECOM and Red Bank-based sub-consultant Maser Consulting, the letter said. AECOM did not respond to a request for comment and a spokeswoman for Maser Consulting referred questions to AECOM.
The Stockton Aviation Research and Technology Park will be built in Egg Harbor Township on land outside the Atlantic City International Airport that is leased from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Egg Harbor City-based Command Company is performing the civil engineering work at the site now and building work should begin in the Spring, according to ACIA Executive Director John Lamey. The ACIA just put a contract for construction of the main site building out to bid (details here) and proposals are due at the end of February.
The research park will count the FAA as one tenant, but their 7,000 square feet will be free, so the ACIA is hoping to attract other lease-paying aviation-related companies to the site.
The project is part of a wider effort to bolster employment opportunities in Atlantic County, which has seen its tax base eroded by the closure of five casinos since 2014. The research park was identified as one of the area’s most important “leverageable assets” in the Atlantic County Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan published by Angelou Economics in 2015.