Protest filed in Wright-Patterson housing renovation project award

Messer Construction won contract to renovate 29 homes at Air Force base.

A company has filed a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) alleging that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers unfairly awarded a large contract to renovate homes at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

The protesting company is a joint venture, Vazquez-RWB JV LLC (VRWB).

Last month, the Army Corps of Engineers awarded a contract in excess of $2.4 million per home to Messer Construction for the renovation of 29 homes on Wright-Patterson.

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VRWB alleges that Messer’s proposal was more expensive than its own. The company further alleges that Messer “lacks the necessary experience in residential remodeling and historic home preservation that a project of this magnitude requires.”

“There is little Ohioans are more proud of than Wright-Patterson Air Force Base,” Vazquez Commercial Contracting owner and President Joe Vazquez said in a statement to the Dayton Daily News Thursday. “This project requires preserving the history of the base, while being conscious of taxpayer money. We were excited to be in the running for this opportunity because we know how skilled our team is; however, it seems clear the process was never fair.”

“Messer is aware of a protest filed with the GAO regarding a contract we were awarded to renovate housing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where we’ve performed work for more than 80 years,” Matt Schnelle, Messer vice president and Dayton region leader, said in a statement to the Dayton Daily News. “We recognize the historical significance of this project and are honored to have been selected as the general contractor. Messer responded to the detailed expertise and cost qualifications that the government requested in its RFP (request for proposal).”

The federal government has until Feb. 4 to respond.

A link to the GAO protest can be found here.

A spokeswoman for the Army Corps of Engineers in Louisville declined to comment, saying the GAO had issued a “protective order” on this case.

Cincinnati-based Messer Construction was awarded the $70.8 million contract by the Army Corps of Engineers last month for whole-house interior and exterior work of 29 on-base homes of residential/commercial type construction. Many of the homes are slated for officers and higher-ranking officials.

The government expected the work to be completed by May 6, 2025.

The joint-venture member companies have Cincinnati and Kansas City, Mo. headquarters, among other offices nationally.

VRWB said it has completed historic and residential remodeling projects at the downtown Dayton Arcade as well as in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, Avondale and Walnut Hills neighborhoods.

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