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LPCiminelli 'will start ramping up fairly quickly' for SolarCity project

 As crews from LPCiminelli began working on SolarCity Corp.'s RiverBend manufacturing hub, the Buffalo-based contracting firm will be gradually adding to its workforce at the South Buffalo site.


But once construction hits its deepest cycle next year, as many as 800 workers could be on site at any one time. That's about the same as the peak number of construction workers LPCiminelli and its subcontractors had on site during this year's $130 million Ralph Wilson Stadium renovations.


And, like the Ralph Wilson Stadium work, LPCiminelli is facing a hard deadline for completing the project.

SolarCity's 1.2-million-square-foot manufacturing and R&D center, centerpiece of the company's $5 billion project, is serving as the development anchor for the 188-acre RiverBend Commerce Park along South Park Avenue.


Even as an orchestrated groundbreaking press conference was going on, about a dozen LPCiminelli workers were busy prepping the site. LPCiminelli began its RiverBend work earlier this summer.

"We will start ramping up fairly quickly," said Kevin Schuler, LPCiminelli senior vice president.


LPCiminelli is serving as the on-site developer for Fort Schuyler Management Corp., the state agency shepherding the SolarCity project.


Schuler estimates that as many as 50 workers will be at RiverBend "in short order."

By the end of the year, more than 100 will be working on the site.


To meet SolarCity's development time table, the project must be completed by early 2016. Once final development plans are secured, the construction schedule will be determined.


"Safe to say, we will do whatever it takes to get this done and done on time," Schuler said.

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