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Carson City firm to finish work on vets’ nursing home

staff and wire reports

LAS VEGAS – Carson City contractor Tom Metcalf’s company may be called on to rescue the $19.3 million state’s veterans nursing home in Boulder City.

Metcalf said Thursday the contract would be to complete the work on the nursing home needed to obtain a license.

“We haven’t got the contract yet, but we are getting ready,” he said. “We have construction management experience and we’ve just finished a similar project down there. We’re used to turning over that type of facility.”

Dan O’Brien, manager of the State Public Works Board, said Metcalf Builders Inc.’s involvement hinges on whether the company holding the bonds on the unfinished project wants to finish the work itself.

National Fire Union Co. of Hartford, Conn. has until next week to decide what it wants to do, O’Brien said.

“Right now the bonding company is on notice,” he said. “We have to give them 20 days to decide whether they are going to finish the project or not. They can either let us go in or they could decide to go in and finish the project themselves and go after contractor’s bond.”

The previous contractor, Addison Inc., was taken off the job by the state.

There is $1.4 million to finish the job, O’Brien said.

According to O’Brien, the punch list – jobs that need to be finished before the home can be occupied – is three-quarters of an inch thick.

“There are some small items that the contractor should have got done,” he said. “Things like like tape on the woodwork and nicks in the paint and lights not hooked up.”

Of more concern are fire safety improvements needed to complete the veteran’s home.

“There are a bunch of smoke doors in corridors that don’t seal properly,” he said. “The frames were put in crooked; that’s a big item.”

Metcalf said his firm has recently completed a 50,000-square-foot long-term acute facility with similar licensing requirements.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Brett Kandt said Metcalf Builders has tentatively been chosen as the construction management company to finish the job that was supposed to be done Jan. 4.

Kandt said the state is working with existing subcontractors to see if they want to remain on the job. That would be the fastest way for the project to be completed, he said.

But the past contractor, Addison Inc., and some of the subcontractors, have millions of dollars of unpaid claims against the state.

Before Metcalf can get the job, the state must hear from National Fire Union Co. of Hartford, Conn., which posted a completion bond for the project.

National Fire has 20 days to decide if it wants to bring in a new contractor, allow the state to handle the job or take other action.

Addison filed suit seeking a temporary restraining order stopping the state from removing the Las Vegas firm from the job. But Clark County District Judge Jeff Sobel refused to issue the order.

Steve Foster, vice president of operations for Addison, said the suit in a Las Vegas Sun story appearing Thursday, seeks $6 million in claims from the state will take years to resolve. Much of the blame for the delays with the project lies with the state because of more than 500 change orders on the project, he said.