Sigma represents owner for production facility project

west milwaukee, wisconsin


The Journal Sentinel, Inc. selected The Sigma Group as their owner’s representative for construction of a new production facility for the Journal Sentinel. The project budget of approximately $107 million included new state-of-the-art production presses and packaging and distribution equipment, as well as a 400,000-square-foot production facility building on a 40-acre site in West Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

An executive task force consisting of five executives from the Journal Sentinel and Journal Communications selected Sigma as owner’s representative. In this role, Sigma was charged with developing, in concert with the executive task force, a project mission statement, design program and overall project budget and selecting a design-build firm to implement the project. The design-build project delivery system was chosen due to the desire to complete a building shell ready to accept production presses and other equipment by the end of 2001, as well the expertise in the newspaper business residing with primarily design-build firms.

Sigma’s responsibilities as owner’s representative, after the selection of a design-build firm, evolved into establishing and negotiating a design-build contract, managing the design development process by contributing construction and code experience to the designer and owner, agency coordination for code and permit reviews and approvals, significant participation in value engineering such that project dollars were spent in areas with the greatest impact to long-term production operations and life-cycle costs, and ensuring proper timing and release of construction bid packages.


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Sigma also helped manage the coordination of owner-furnished equipment and vendors with the design-build firm.

Ongoing responsibilities included review of construction bid documents for incorporation of all value engineering items and owner preferences, review of bid tabulations and bid award recommendations, review of design-build firm invoicing as well as subcontractor invoicing, establishing a process for review and analysis of change orders, field orders and other directives, overall project review and tracking, overall schedule review and tracking and monthly progress reports to the executive task force.

Responsibilities also included review of O&M manuals, as-built drawings and all closeout documentation, managing the building turn-over process, punch list management and building commissioning.

Sigma also functioned as site design engineer and construction administration for site construction, representing approximately $5 million of the overall project budget. Sigma’s sister company, Sigma Environmental Services, Inc. conducted all required environmental remediation, abatement and due diligence for the site, a former industrial brownfield.

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