Change orders on Falcons stadium total almost $200M

The Falcons have ordered about $200 million worth of changes to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, half of it last month, according to a report prepared by a state agency.

The latest project status report by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority disclosed that the Falcons organization “has issued change orders” to general contractor Holder Hunt Russell Moody “in the cumulative amount of $199.5 (million) for various scope changes.”

The report, obtained today by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, said that with the latest changes the “total project cost is projected to be $1.5 (billion).”

The changes don’t affect the amount of taxpayer money in the project. Under terms of the stadium deal, the Falcons are responsible for construction cost overruns.

The GWCCA report, dated May 31, doesn’t provide details about the change orders, but shows that costs grew by $101 million last month.

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In a similar status report April 30, the GWCCA said the Falcons’ cumulative changes totaled $98.5 million at that point and that the total project cost was “still” projected to be $1.4 billion.

The Falcons on Friday attributed the latest increases to issues associated with structural steel.

“As the complex steel structure of the roof and facade continue to come together, the added costs come from steel fabrication and as a result increases in the steel erection process,” a Falcons spokeswoman said in a statement.

The Falcons previously attributed the earlier increases to “elements of the concrete superstructure, steel, mechanical equipment, electrical systems and finish refinements.”

The latest status report says the GWCCA “is awaiting final design peer reviews for (the stadium’s) exterior skin and mechanized roof” and that the construction schedule “continues to be paced by fabrication of the fixed-roof structural steel.”

The report doesn’t address the completion date, which Falcons owner Arthur Blank said earlier this year would be pushed back from March 1, 2017, to June 1, 2017. That remains the targeted completion date, a Falcons spokeswoman said Friday.

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