Pennsylvania Convention Center

Location Philadelphia, PA

Client Pennsylvania Department of General Services

Services Construction Management, Estimating & Cost Management

Project Value $700 million

Hill provided comprehensive project management and construction management services for the demolition and site clearing phase of the $700 million expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The expansion project added 376,000 SF of exhibit hall, ballroom, and meeting space to the center, increasing its total square footage to 1 million. The expansion occupies four square blocks and created a new front entrance to the center on North Broad Street.

Hill’s initial task was to develop a complete cost estimate and schedule for the demolition and site clearing work, including environmental remediation and utility removals and capping. Hill also developed the bid plans and specifications for two-phased bid packages, coordinated approvals with governmental and regulatory agencies, and provided on-site management of the demolition and site clearing while the work was underway. 

Hill’s specific responsibilities included estimating and budgeting for multiple phasing options and demolition methodologies for 20 buildings and 6 surface parking lots, totaling over 13 million CF of building and 9.5 acres of land over a 4 square block area in central Philadelphia; scheduling for building condemnations, vacancies, demolition, and site clearing; conducting physical investigations of 20 buildings and preparation of condition reports; on-site construction management and administration of environmental remediation, demolition and site work, archeological investigations, historical artifact recovery, utility relocations, and abandonment; and assistance with, and procurement of, related permits at both the City and State levels, including efforts for zoning, demolition, street closure, and Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP) National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permits.

Hill also supported procurement and contract administration of a structural engineering subconsultant; an environmental engineering and quality assurance subconsultant, an environmental remediation contractor, a demolition and site work contractor, a historical artifact recovery contractor, and an existing-conditions photographic and video documentation contractor. In addition, the team led investigation and planning activities that included Phase 1 investigations of 20 buildings and 6 surface parking lots; exploratory borings of suspect areas; 300 test pits; implementation of PADEP ACT 2 (Brownfield) clean-up standards; establishment of site-specific standards; implementation of a site-specific health and safety plan; implementation, execution, and control of a soils management plan; and ground water testing and monitoring. 

Environmental remediation actions included remediation of building hazards including asbestos, lead, PCBs, mercury, quartz, and other miscellaneous liquid and solid hazards. Sub-grade remediation included removal of localized contamination found to be above direct contact standards (petroleum products, lead, benzo [A] pyrene, and arsenic), and removal of 15 USTs and associated contaminated soils.

“The project would not have been the success it was without Hill’s hard work, leadership, and coordination with multiple governmental and regulatory agencies, the Authority, engineers, environmental consultants and contractors, and other stakeholders. I would not hesitate to recommend Hill’s professional project management and construction management services to anyone contemplating a complex urban project like the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Their performance went above and beyond our already high expectations.” – Albert Mezzaroba, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority (former)