Author: Admin

Operations and Maintenance Manuals

Proper maintenance and cleaning is crucial to extending the life of the equipment and materials we all work with every day. This includes everything from the HVAC systems in our various buildings to the carpet on our floors. But when it comes to the “stuff” at our jobs, many of us are in the dark as to just what proper maintenance and cleaning means.

If we have trouble with a product at home, we typically consult the owner’s manual. UA staff often does the same, but the University is a little too big to keep all its manuals in the “junk drawer” alongside the birthday candles and phone book. Part of Contract Administration’s job is to make sure all the operation and maintenance manuals associated with new construction are provided to the University in the closeout process. These manuals are stored electronically and can be referenced when needed. If you have an issue, you should start with your Building Representative. You or your Building Representative can contact our department if needed for help with a manual.

Who Can Tell Me About a Contract?

Contracts and Agreements are an important part of doing business at the University. In fact, there are two offices within Procurement Services with “Contract” in their name – Contract Management and Contract Administration. So what’s the difference between the two and which one should you contact with questions about a specific contract?

Contract Administration is responsible for agreements associated with UA construction projects. This includes agreements with contractors, architects, engineers, and other consultants. Contract Administration is also responsible for administering bids and projects in compliance with the Alabama Bid Law.

Most any other type of contract for goods and services will come through Contract Management. Contract Management reviews and approves agreements for photography, professional services, guest speakers, and others. For most UA faculty and staff, Contract Management is the place to go with questions about an agreement.

New Facilities and Roadways

Contract Administration is always proud to play a small part in ongoing improvements and additions to our campus. Here’s a quick summary of some of the major projects which have recently been completed in time for the fall semester.

North Lawn Hall: This 83,000 square foot facility has 12 classrooms and one auditorium. Five of the classrooms are located within a concrete storm shelter.

Retail Center: The Supe Store has a large retail space on the first floor and text books and supplies on the second. There is also a Starbucks with a drive-thru window and plenty of seating inside.

Peter Bryce Boulevard & North Campus Way: This new roadway has been completed and provides an easy route into campus from Jack Warner Parkway. It’s also convenient to the Rec Center, Riverside Parking Deck, and North Lawn Hall.

University Boulevard Improvements: A landscaped median, bike lanes, and bus lanes have been added to sections of University Boulevard. These enhancements have only improved the already beautiful east entrance to campus.

Construction Heats Up in the Summer

As the spring semester draws to a close, the University is bidding and advertising a wide variety of construction projects that will take place over the summer. While construction work is a constant all through the year, the summer months are even busier than normal.

Summer is a great time to schedule short-term projects for a number of reasons. Because many students aren’t on campus, road closures and temporary utility outages are less of an inconvenience. Also, the weather (except for the heat) is more cooperative during summer months.

The University always tries to minimize interruptions, however it is unavoidable that portions of roads or sidewalks will be closed or certain entrances to buildings will be inaccessible. Faculty and staff should monitor Dialog and Dialog Extra for news of planned interruptions.

Interested in Upcoming Construction Projects?

Contract Administration handles a variety of documents related to ongoing construction projects on campus. Are you interested in finding out what projects are planned? Click the link for Advertised Bids  to find the list of projects bidding soon.  There you’ll be able to find basic information about the project and a schedule of dates leading up to the bid opening.  Also, pre-bid meetings and bid openings are open to the public.  You have a standing invitation to attend.  Please note that some bid openings are rescheduled by addendum and may not take place on the originally scheduled date and time.

We’re Going Paperless!

Starting in December, construction projects bid at the University will utilize an electronic system for the submission of pay applications and change order request approval forms (“CORAFs”).  Contract Administration has partnered with Construction Administration and Financial Affairs Information Technology in the development of the eCORAF and ePayApp.  This is part of the continuing effort to increase efficiency and provide better service.

Currently, both pay applications and CORAFs are processed via hard copies and original signatures. construction worker w laptopWith contractors and architects in home offices throughout the state, delays are a given as documents travel from one signer to the next. In addition, UA approvers are often in different buildings or jobsite trailers, so more time passes as forms move from one location to the next through campus mail or hand delivery. This has a real impact on projects when contractors must wait for approval to perform additional work or front costs until their next payment.

With these new electronic systems, documents will move instantly from one signer to the next. Contractors will benefit from improved cash flow and faster approval for change order work. Each system is designed to be user friendly and resemble the paper forms with which our partners are already familiar. The eCORAF and ePayApp will also record historical data for cost tracking and comparison purposes. This should allow UA to better access and evaluate change order proposals based on previous costs for similar work.

We can help you find the manual for that.

Contract Administration is responsible for finalizing the University’s formal closeout process for all capital construction projects on campus.  As part of that process, Contract Administration confirms that all operation and maintenance manuals have been provided by the construction contractors and are accessible to all UA building representatives.  Operations and maintenance manuals are critical resources for maximizing the life cycle of all buildings, associated equipment and even finishes such as flooring.  The various manuals include such information as warranties, safety procedures, cleaning instructions, replacement part numbers, filter types, etc.  In the event such information is needed for any reason, please contact your UA Building Representative.  Feel free to suggest they contact Contract Administration for assistance if they do not know how to access the manuals.

Construction Progress

“It sure has grown since I was there.”  This is a sentiment all of us have heard at least once from friends and family who graduated from UA but now live elsewhere.  There are many alumni and friends of the University who only get back to campus for a football game or other major event.  Whether it’s been two years or 20 since their last visit, occasional visitors usually marvel at the amount of new construction and renovation.

But do you know exactly how much UA has grown?  In order to accommodate the more than 35,000 students enrolled, UA has witnessed an enormous amount of construction in the past 10 years.  Since 2005, our campus has seen the construction of 57 new buildings and expansions totaling approximately 4.8 million additional square feet of residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses, classroom space, athletic facilities, and dining halls.

In addition, we have added Sid McDonald Hall and the National Water Center which are used by The UA System and NOAA respectively.  We’ve also renovated existing buildings such as Lloyd Hall, Russell Hall, Foster Auditorium, ten Hoor Hall, and the Ferguson Center.  And of course we can’t forget to mention the the North Upper Deck and South Upper Deck additions at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The members of Contract Administration are proud of the small role our department played in these projects.  We are also excited about the projects scheduled for the future and how they will help UA continue to thrive.


In the last month we had the opportunity to celebrate the retirement of one of our colleagues, Trip Farmer.  Over his 26 years of service to The University of Alabama System, Trip has served as the Director of Contract Administration on our campus, Treasurer and Controller of The UAB Educational Foundation, and Assistant to the Director of Campus Maintenance at UAB.

Trip joined the newly created Contract Administration department in 2005, and with his background and experience, created policies and procedures that established a level of quality and control which guides the University in maintaining compliance with the Alabama Public Works Law today. He has set the bar, and we are fortunate to have his example and work ethic to guide the department as we strive to maintain the consistency and professionalism he worked so tirelessly to uphold.

It is always bittersweet when we have to say goodbye to one of our co-workers, but we wish Trip well in his retirement.

New to Procurement Services

Effective April 1, 2015, the department of Contract Administration became a new member of the Procurement Services family. This addition allows Procurement to provide service for all construction projects over $50,000 on campus. Contract Administration is responsible for ensuring compliance with the Alabama Public Works Law, Title 39, as well as timely and accurate processing of pay applications, construction contracts, change orders, and various architectural agreements.  To learn more about Contract Administration, please visit our website.