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Partnership set for special delivery

ODA has appointed CLM as delivery partner to manage work on the Olympic Park. Ian Galloway, Mark Reynolds and Mike Szomjassy explain what they do.

Ian Galloway is in charge of a city. The Olympic Park programme director for the ODA's delivery partner CLM has a site to look after the size of the City of London. And anyone or anything going on to it, the roads, bridges and rail work being carried out on it, and all the building work that's ramping up for the venues and infrastructure, are within this huge development.

He and his team are also responsible for making sure all the Olympic Park venues are hitting their budgets and their deadlines amidst huge public and political scrutiny so that the London 2012 Games are a credit to the UK construction industry and the country.

Galloway remains sanguine about the amount of responsibility on his shoulders. "It's a big programme, but there's no one overwhelming worry," he says.

The Northern Irishman has extensive experience of huge programmes of work with multiple interfaces Đ his last UK role was as project director on section two works for the High Speed 1 rail service to the Channel Tunnel.

London 2012 proved a big enough attraction though to drag him away from a long-term career at Bechtel a year ago to take up the role of head of the CLM consortium Đ whose parent companies are programme manager CH2MHill from the US, contractor Laing O'Rourke and construction and consultancy group Mace from the UK. The consortium is now well on the way to melding into a single, purposeful unit, says Galloway.

"Our job is to manage the co-ordination of design, engineering, procurement and construction management of the Olympic Park project," he says. "The ODA sets the strategy and we deliver it.
"The focus of the joint venture is to meet the project delivery expectations. And over time the differences between the three companies tends to meld as focus begins to come in."

The Olympics also works its own magic and not just on the CLM personnel. "Our success so far is due to the contractors who have really come up to the mark," says Galloway. "There seems to be
huge commitment to this project. Everyone wants it to work."

Galloway's deputy programme director, Mark Reynolds, has detected the same deep-rooted loyalty to the Olympic project.

Reynolds, who was the infrastructure director at Mace before being seconded into the CLM team, says: "All the contractors are working as a team and they are supporting each other. There's a collective responsibility.

"When people first come on to the site there's a natural focus on their own little bit. But then they become engaged in the whole project and take a wider view."

CLM's task is massive. While the main contractors for each of the venues have total responsibility for their own sites, CLM runs the white spaces in between, the interfaces where sites connect and the utilities that run throughout the Olympic Park. Its personnel have been intimately involved in all schemes from the design stage to get a grip on those interfaces.

But costs and programme are where the joint venture has so far made the most significant impact.

Reynolds, for instance, says the achievement he is most proud of so far is the work he and Team Stadium did on the Olympic Stadium to get the budget and design locked down via a unique flat pack design.

"And I am really proud of getting the stadium to a point where it could start three months early."
ODA has already placed £2bn worth of work with 650 companies. The next big focus is around £2bn worth of Olympic Park deals that need to be let in the next 12 months. One big package - the International Broadcast and Media Centre has just been awarded to Carillion Igloo, but the security packages are yet to be let and there are many major and smaller works to play for.

"There's a real volume of transactions to get through," Galloway says.

"And then this will help us continue to manage costs. To do that we need to fix the scope of everything, avoid changes and enable the contractors to get on and do what they are good at.

"All the jobs are being awarded to contractors you'd hope to see on your project and they are on top of their game. I think we have the best that Britain has to offer."

Both Galloway and Reynolds are far from complacent and are particularly aware of the need to build everything, ready for the crucial point when the completed permanent venues and Park are handed over to LOCOG.

Reynolds says: "We have to get everything ready in good time for LOCOG. The main stadium and the Aquatics centre are the critical projects for us; the other venues are on shorter programmes and are less complex."

Galloway admits to being excited about the coming year.

"As people see the schemes coming up out of the ground it becomes a real project.

"I think that will really surprise people - when they see the size of what we are building here."

The best bit, says Reynolds "is being able to tell people, when they ask you what you are doing, that you are managing the Olympic Park. When you explain what that involves, people almost can't believe it."

Mike Szomjassy: a man with an ear to the ground

"The atmosphere on this site is exciting and there's something new happening all the time," says Mike Szomjassy, CLM's director of infrastructure.

"It's so interesting - one day you are talking about digging out contaminated soil; another you're involved in archaeological digs."

Szomjassy is from Atlanta, Georgia in the US and is one of the CH2MHill directors and staff seconded into the delivery partner team.He had brief experience on work for the Atlanta Games in 1996 but he is now seven months into what he is planning will be a long stay in London.

Szomjassy has an in-depth understanding of all the utilities and infrastructure criss-crossing the Olympic Park. He is now co-ordinating construction of 30 bridges and 20km of roads around the work being done for the venues.

"Right now we're dealing with about 14 tier one site suppliers, but we've just started to appoint and mobilise additional bridges and highways contracts, so that will add another five."

This all involves regular meetings with ODA project sponsors, contractors, specific sessions on health and safety and environment. CLM also chairs a monthly meeting to discuss collaboration.
"We have to make sure everyone on the Park has the big picture in mind; and so far they do."

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