NYPA Trustees Approve Contract Award to Buffalo Firm for Construction of New Niagara Project Warehouse and Office Complex

Michael Saltzman

February 5, 2010


WHITE PLAINS—New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel announced today the recent approval by the NYPA Board of Trustees of the award of a more than $16.6 million contract to a Buffalo firm for the construction of a new warehouse and office complex for the Niagara Power Project. 

The contract award went to SLR Contracting & Service Co., a minority-and-women-owned business, which was the low bidder of seven companies submitting competing proposals for the construction project. The warehouse and office complex, which is expected to be completed by July 2011, will be located along Witmer Road in the Towns of Lewiston and Niagara.    

“The Power Authority is looking forward to the construction of the new Niagara Warehouse and Office Complex and the role that SLR Contracting will play in this endeavor,” Kessel said.  “We’re especially gratified to be awarding the multimillion dollar construction contract to a Western New York firm, for supporting jobs and spurring additional economic activity in the region.  SLR has a fine team of experienced professionals who will be working full time at the construction site to see this job through to completion.”

SLR is a full service general construction company specializing in all facets of commercial construction.

The Power Authority’s plans for the three-story warehouse and office complex stem from 2006 agreements in which Niagara University (NU) committed to support NYPA’s application for the federal relicensing of the Niagara project.  The agreements included exchange of properties by the two neighboring organizations to assist in the university’s campus planning efforts. (The Power Authority also agreed to provide funding and low-cost hydropower to the university.  Those benefits began after the Authority’s acceptance of the hydroelectric project’s new 50-year operating license in 2007.)

The land swap includes NU’s transfer to NYPA of a parcel where the Authority will build the new 58,000-square-foot warehouse and office complex. Of that building area, 18,000-square-feet will be dedicated to offices on the three floors, with several administrative staff members at the Niagara project to be assigned to the complex.  The building will also include an emergency response area for backup functions in support of the Niagara project.        

In their Jan. 26 authorization of the contract award to SLR Contracting, the NYPA Trustees approved capital expenditures of $23.5 million for the warehouse and office complex.  In addition to construction, this includes funding for engineering, design, and permits; purchase of equipment and furniture; and moving computer and communications equipment from the existing Niagara project warehouse, which will be replaced by the new facility.    

Among the other firms assisting NYPA in the new warehouse and office complex is Nelson Associates Architectural Engineers, a Central New York firm, which performed detailed design work.

The new facility will be built to specifications necessary for qualifying for Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program.  This program provides third-party verification of a building’s efficiency in the use of energy and other resources.   

The Power Authority is dedicated to pursuing LEED certification in its construction of any new buildings in its statewide operations. 

Pursuit of LEED status is also consistent with NYPA’s recently released Sustainability Action Plan (http://www.nypa.gov/press/2010/100113a.html) and the State Green Building Construction Act, signed last year by Gov. David A. Paterson, requiring that any future construction of state buildings conform with sustainability principles.  

The Niagara warehouse, where 12 Niagara employees are currently assigned, stores materials, supplies and equipment in support of the 2,441-megawatt hydroelectric project’s operation.  The new warehouse and office complex will be equipped with higher density storage systems to allow for greater efficiency in the use of space.    

About NYPA:

■ The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■ NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives. ■ It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower.  Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state. ■For more information, www.nypa.gov.

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