Empire Contractors awarded PAC construction


The Board of Trustees Finance and Audit committee elected to award Evansville construction company Empire Contractors the contract for the renovation of the Physical Activities Center (PAC).

“The project is without a doubt going to be a transformational moment for our campus, our students and this community,” Vice President for Finance and Administration Steve Bridges said.

The construction bid was for Phase I of the PAC renovation, which includes an additional 4,000 seats for a new arena and 5,000 feet of space for the renovation of the kinesiology lab, along with more concession space and the addition of a spirit store.

Empire Contractors was the lowest of three construction bids for the PAC renovation. The other two bids came from RiverCity Construction and Weddle Brothers.

The total bid for Phase I from Empire Contractors is $25,690,000, which is a little less than $2 million from the next lowest bidder.

State appropriation for Phase I is $16 million. Bridges said they are also using $1.6 million in state funded Rehab and Rehabilitation money for utilities, $2 million in campus store reserves for the spirit store, $1.5 million from food services for concessions, $1.4 million in student fee debt service money and $3 million from special projects.

“Empire contractors has worked on campus on several occasions,” Bridges said. “They are the low bidder and we like the quality of their work, we are comfortable with their work.”

Bridges said he is also comfortable with Empire’s subcontractors including Jerry David and Alva Electric.

The budget for state funding for Phase II of PAC renovation is currently in the state senate committee. The legislative session will end April 21 and the budget is expected to be passed by then before moving to the governor’s office.

Phase II of PAC renovation will be for updating the existing PAC along with funding the construction of a Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s office on campus.

“We are optimistic at this point that there is hope for that phase as well,” he said.

Construction is expected to start in May and completion is expected by October of 2018.

The groundbreaking for the PAC will come after state appropriations have been finalized.