Contractors criticize UO’s no-bid deal on arena

Contractors and laborers want the university’s arena project to respect public records laws.

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A group representing contractors and laborers has set up a billboard across from the University of Oregon’s Matthew Knight Arena site, reading “Respect Public Records Laws UO Arena Project.”

The Fair Contracting Foundation wants to force the release of records on the project to make sure public contracting rules are being enforced.

Daniel Bonham, executive director of the foundation, declined to say who is paying for the billboard other than that it is groups and individuals who share the foundation’s concerns. The foundation is part of the National Alliance for Fair Contracting, which promotes a “level playing field” through compliance with public contracting laws.

Bonham said the foundation is funded by labor unions and contractors and is singling out the UO arena project because of the UO’s use of a no-bid contract to hire the construction manager and architects. The $227 million project, which includes $200 million in state bonds to pay for construction, is being built by Hoffman Construction of Portland and designed by Ellerbe Becket Architects of Minneapolis and TVA Architects of Portland.

Read the full story at The Register-Guard.

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