Brentwood Civic Center topping-off ceremony celebrates local hire
When the Brentwood City Council voted 3-2 last year to approve a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for its Civic Center project, there was predictable hand-wringing from the anti-union Associated Builders & Contractors (ABC). This is the same group that just opposed the successful Mt. Diablo Unified School construction bond, also because of a PLA.
Despite the ABC’s doom-and-gloom predictions, however, the winning bid from signatory general contractor Lathrop Construction came in under the engineer’s estimate, and won the contract. The next line of attack from the ABC was that labor wouldn’t honor the local-hire provisions of the PLA, which called for local residents to get some hiring preference.
Civic leaders and community members celebrated the success of the PLA in May at a ceremony for the topping off the main structure—and noted that two-thirds of the carpenters on the project are local. Of the six carpenters on the project, 67 percent are local hires—three from Brentwood; one from Oakley.
"We made sure the promises for local hiring were kept,"said Tom Quinn, senior field representative of Carpenters Local 152. "We think it’s really important.”
In addition to the success of the agreement, the project is moving well. City Manager Donna Landeros is pleased with the progress to date. "Everybody has been working so smoothly. No hiccups,"she said. "I’m absolutely happy with Lathrop’s work.”
Greg Feere, CEO of the Contra Costa Building and Construction Trades Council, pointed out that the job is "coming in under budget and ahead of schedule."
Brentwood Mayor Robert Taylor, who voted for the PLA, is also happy with the results, and announced at the topping off, "We anticipate the parking structure, city hall and civic center will be completed by May or June of 2011, and the park by that October—ready for the holidays."