State Notifies Turner's Nashville Office of Its “Intent to Award” Contract To Build

October 09, 2015


The Tennessee State Building Commission has notified the Nashville office of Turner Construction Company that it intends to award the company the contract to build the new Tennessee State Museum on Nashville’s Bicentennial Mall.

“Although we do not have a signed contract and this recommendation still needs to be approved by the Executive Subcommittee of the State Building Commission on October 21, we are certainly pleased to learn that the state believes Turner is the right company for this very important project, which would be one of the most significant projects we have undertaken during our 40 years of operation in Nashville,” said Turner Vice President John Gromos, who heads up the firm’s Nashville office. “We are honored by this opportunity and look forward to working with the design team of EOA and HGA, with whom we have considerable experience in delivering large, highly complex buildings within a fast-track time frame.”

“This is one of the most important civic buildings that will be built in the state of Tennessee in the next five years,” said EOA Architects Principal Gary Everton. “There is strong interest throughout state government in assuring that this project is done really, really well – a level of scrutiny heightened by this museum’s prominent location on Bicentennial Mall. With such high expectations, I am happy to know that the state intends to award this contract to such a well-respected construction firm as Turner, which also has experience working with both our firm and our partner firm in the project, HGA, as well as extensive experience building museums.”

To be located at the corner of Jefferson Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard, adjacent to the Farmer’s Market and the Bicentennial Mall Carillon, the new museum will encompass 130,000 square feet. The final guaranteed price will be set when design and construction plans are complete in approximately one year 

The museum must be complete and ready to open to the public by summer 2018. Following pre-construction planning, Turner anticipates breaking ground in April 2016 – giving it just 19 months to construct this significant building. Turner has a history of completing fast track projects on-time, even when unforeseen circumstances arise. For example, Super Storm Sandy hit during Turner’s construction of the new Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, flooding the basement after major mechanical equipment had been delivered. Despite this setback, the firm delivered the project by the originally scheduled completion date 

“We’ve already identified a potential obstacle – the suitability of the soil to support this building. We know that this was an issue with several buildings in the immediate area, such as First Tennessee Park and the Andrew Johnson Tower, so we built time into our schedule to deal with it. Regardless of what we find, we know we have to be done on time – and we will. We are used to overcoming obstacles to meet goals,” Gromos said.

Gromos added that he believes Turner’s reputation for building large, complex buildings within tight deadlines was one of several factors led to the state commission announcing its intent to award this contract. Key to Turner’s ability to deliver the highest quality result in the shortest time period is its experience in prefabricating building components off-site and its expertise in using Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology. Building Design + Construction magazine named Turner the #1 BIM contractor in the nation over the last several years.

“BIM, in which we create a 3D model of the project, allows us to plan down to the centimeter exactly how the building will go together – which not only allows us to properly stage construction, but prevents snafus that could slow us down,” Gromos added. “Prefabrication techniques, in which we assemble building components offsite, where we can work more efficiently, not only prevents costly delays, but also increases quality and safety.”

Turner has significant experience building museums, having completed more than 150 museum projects at 50 facilities around the world, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the NASCAR Hall of Fame and Museum, the Art Institute of Chicago and The Newseum – projects that involved Turner members who will manage the Tennessee State Museum project.

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