Architect Zaiga Gaile calls the decision of Latvia’s State Real Estate (SRE) to terminate the contract with construction company ReRe Būve 1 for the restoration of New Riga Theatre a declaration of war against the mafia of large construction companies.
During a press-conference organized by SRE, the author of New Riga Theatre’s reconstruction project Gaile congratulated the state institution for the cardinal decision she believes to be a brave step.
«Since July 2018, when SRE signed the contract with ReRe Būve 1, it seemed to us that everything will go as planned. A year has passed and only 3% of all work has been accomplished. There will be a war, it will be difficult. This is declaration of war against the mafia of large construction companies,» reveals Gaile.
She notes the construction company in question has not taken any responsibility for the Zolitude tragedy, the fire in Riga Castle, the sinking of the new structure of Latvia’s National Museum of Art or the cracks in the old building.
«The mechanism works in such a way to finance political parties and acquire influence on all levels. The biggest violation committed by the contractor is associated with poles. SRE’s technical supervisor was on top of his objectives because he recorded all of the contractor’s committed violations. The damages caused to the neihgbouring house – cracks – are the responsibility of ReRe Būve 1. They have yet to admit their guilt. In reality, ReRe’s place is behind bars, not accusing us and threatening with litigation,» says Gaile.
As previously explained by ReRe Būve board chairman Valdis Koks, multiple errors were found in Gaile’s project. For example, the project did not detail plans for the frame poles of the building’s façade. The project also lacked any assessment of the effect construction work would have on nearby buildings.
«All people make mistakes, and I am prepared to answer for mine, but the matter with frame poles was not our mistake,» said Gaile.
SRE representative explain that the decision to terminate the contract with ReRe was made because a number of serious violations were found in the construction company’s work. Additionally, the overall quality of construction work was inadequate, plans of the construction project were not studied accordingly before commencing with work, false statements were provided to the client, deadlines were not met, and work safety regulations were breached.
«I am certain that terminating the contract was the only appropriate solution in this situation. SRE acted in accordance with good management principles, as a responsible representative of public and state interests. We were a constructive partner and we have done much to search for the best possible solution for every problem that has surfaced during renovation work. Unfortunately, we have not seen any interest from the contractor to improve the quality of work and comply with previously agreed upon terms, costs and safety,» admits Andris Vārna, chairman of SRE.
In spite of this complicated situation, SRE plans to finish reconstruction of New Riga Theatre by summer 2022.
SRE plans to organize a new tender for construction work in August. Unlike the previous tender, the principle «design and build» will be used there. One major additional requirement will be the use of the Construction Information System. Use of said system will help better control costs, shorten terms and resolve any emerging problems in the construction yard more quickly.
On 23 July, ReRe Būve 1 received SRE’s announcement on termination of the contract with the company for the reconstruction of New Riga Theatre. Valdis Koks, meanwhile, believes SRE’s decision completely unjustified, adding that his company will likely turn to court over this.