The bid to construct Yale’s two new residential colleges — the most lucrative construction project in Connecticut’s recent memory — will likely go to a contractor with an office in New Haven.
University administrators have not confirmed that a lead contractor for the residential colleges has been finalized. However, Associate Vice President for Facilities John Bollier said on Tuesday, the “likely construction manager for the residential colleges project is a regional business, with offices in Rhode Island, Boston and here in New Haven.” The only construction firm that fits that description is Dimeo Construction.
Dimeo’s Chapel Street office yesterday contained evidence of it having taken on the construction project, with a paper sign in a room that read “Yale Residential College Headquarters.” All three employees in the office at the time declined to comment and referred all questions to Yale’s Office of Public Affairs and Communications.
University spokesman Tom Conroy declined to comment beyond Bollier’s statement. University Provost Benjamin Polak could not be reached for comment.
Dimeo is a familiar face to Yale and New Haven, having played a leading role in nearly ever major construction project for educational institutions in the New Haven area in recent years.
The firm is currently involved with the $130 million renovation of Sterling Chemistry Laboratories, projected to be completed in July 2016. Dimeo also led the recent renovations of the Yale University Art Gallery (YUAG), Trumbull College and Calhoun College.
The firm was the contractor responsible for the construction of Gateway Community College, a 545,000-square foot project.
According to Evelyn Garde, Gateway’s director of public affairs, the firm was a highly effective contractor for the major downtown project.
“They did come in on budget, they did come in on time,” Garde said. “They were also extremely transparent and communicative throughout the whole process.”
Garde added that the firm worked effectively with union leaders and members of the New Haven Board of Alders — who had concerns about how many of the employees involved in the project would come from the local area.
Dimeo’s involvement with the YUAG renovation also drew praise. Carol DeNatale, Deputy Director for Operations for YUAG said the museum had a “fabulous experience” working with Dimeo, noting the group’s attention to detail and ability to follow through on tasks.
Though the firm has been involved in several University renovation projects, the construction of the new residential colleges is a markedly larger endeavor.
The renovation of the YUAG covered 105,000 square feet. Each of the new colleges will be approximately 220,000 square feet, leaving Dimeo with the substantial task of constructing 440,000 square feet.
Dimeo recently won the bid to build a $82 million student dorm for Central Connecticut State University. Last August, Dimeo also renovated Old Quincy House, a dorm on Harvard’s campus.
Official construction of the new residential colleges is expected to begin in February 2015.