LPCiminelli in middle of medical campus construction

August 15, 2014 Updated Aug 15, 2014 at 7:42 AM EDT

By Dan Miner, Reporter- Business First

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LPCiminelli in middle of medical campus construction

August 15, 2014 Updated Aug 15, 2014 at 7:42 AM EDT


LPCiminelli Construction Inc. is poised to win the second and largest bid for University at Buffalo's School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

At $225 million, the company was the lowest of three submitted bids, according to results publicized recently by the SUNY Construction Fund. That means it will win the bid pending a review of the paperwork - a likely scenario, given LPCiminelli's experience with the process.

LPCiminelli also won the bid for the $51.3 million first phase of the project, including excavation, foundations and structural work, which it is currently completing. The company has positioned UB's medical school as a key component of its strategy to dominate the construction scene on the burgeoning medical campus.

"This was something we identified well over a year ago as very important to us, as the largest general contractor in town," said Frank Ciminelli, the company's senior vice president. "We were low for a reason because we had the right plan in place on what is a challenging project from a logistics and schedule standpoint."

Ciminelli said its recent bid is likely the largest single construction bid in Buffalo's history.

The $375 million medical school will exceed 500,000 square feet and loom over Allentown from the western edge of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. UB, which hopes to have its first students in the building in 2017, is simultaneously upping its medical school faculty numbers from 715 to 850 and class size from 140 to 180.

The second phase will see the building take shape, with construction of the facade, roof and interior and the plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems. The smaller phase three will include furniture, fixtures and equipment for labs and other facilities. The SUNY Construction Fund is overseeing the bidding process, with UB acting in a supporting role. Long Island-based Gilbane LiRo Ventures is serving as construction manager.

Once finished, the building will essentially be two L-shaped buildings joined by a glass atrium. It will incorporate the existing NFTA station, a foot path will extend from Allen Street under the building and into the heart of the medical campus.

The campus is experiencing a construction boom and LPCiminelli has been in the thick of it. In recent years, it built Kaleida Health's $64 million skilled nursing facility and served as construction manager for UB's Clinical and Translational Research Center, part of a $291 million building jointly owned by UB and Kaleida. It is building Conventus, Ciminelli Real Estate Corp.'s $110 million medical office building near the medical school, and also has its eye on Kaleida's $254 million John R. Oishei Children's Hospital, for which construction is ramping up.

Meanwhile, LPCiminelli is also following the next publicly identified projects to be mulled on the medical campus, including Ciminelli Real Estate's exploration of a 250,000-square-foot facility at 33 High St., and Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc.'s Innovation Center 2 project, for a which a site still has not been identified.

"The medical campus is the epicenter of this momentum (in Buffalo) that you keep hearing about," Ciminelli said. "We will continue to try and leverage our stake in the ground in that little corner of the world."

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