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Termination of design-build contract for USF Bulls’ football stadium



Anticipate a stadium update during the board of trustees meeting scheduled for Tuesday.

The University of South Florida has officially canceled the $14.8 million design-build agreement for its on-campus football stadium, previously established with the construction firm Barton Malow.

The termination was confirmed through a document that emerged on social media via an account dedicated to monitoring USF athletics. The document, signed by Jennifer Condon, USF’s deputy chief financial officer on Tuesday, outlines the termination of the design-build contract, with the intention to publicly seek a replacement construction management firm.

In a formal statement released on Friday afternoon, the university announced its decision to shift from “a design/build project delivery model to a construction management model” for the $340 million stadium project.

“The new model will give the university more direct access to all design elements and gives the university more control over cost efficiencies to receive the best value within the project’s budget. As a result of this switch, the university has informed Barton Malow of its intent to begin the process of selecting a construction manager under the new project delivery model.”

Anticipate a stadium update during the regularly scheduled USF board of trustees meeting on Tuesday.

“USF thanks the Barton Malow team for their significant contributions to date, and the university looks forward to opportunities to work with them again in the future,” the statement says.

“The on-campus stadium project continues to move forward, and nothing has changed regarding the cost or the university’s commitment to the project. We look forward to sharing more details with the USF community next week.”

Populous stands as a major player in the stadium design industry and was a key participant in the design-build agreement endorsed by the school over a year ago. Tampa-based companies DuCon Construction and RR Simmons were also integral contributors. USF has now enlisted the services of another local firm, Barr & Barr, to assist in the inspection of the ongoing construction work.

“It is in the university’s best interest to maintain the Populous relationship for timing, continuous work product and knowledge purposes,” the document says. “Populous was a major factor in the design-build team selection but was not the contracted entity.”

The extensive initial contract with Barton Malow, spanning 136 pages and exceeding 55,000 words, specified a lump-sum payment of $14,825,288. However, the agreement included a provision allowing the Bulls to terminate the contract without incurring penalties, particularly if both parties failed to reach a consensus on the final project cost.

The agreement with Barton Malow confirmed certain pre-existing project details while introducing new elements. The Bulls’ vision entails a 35,000-seat stadium featuring five levels (field, main concourse, club level, suite level, and press level), along with exclusive “premium areas and experiences” tailored to USF. Additionally, the project encompasses the construction of an “athletic training and performance center” designed for football and women’s lacrosse.

The initial and comprehensive contract with Barton Malow, which extended over 136 pages and surpassed 55,000 words, outlined a fixed lump-sum payment of $14,825,288. Notably, the agreement featured a provision that granted the Bulls the ability to terminate the contract without facing penalties, especially in situations where both parties could not agree on the ultimate project cost.


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