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Contract protested to renovate historic homes at Wright-Patt

A concrete sign with military symbols on it for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Jess Mador
A group is protesting the award of a contract to renovate historic housing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

A joint venture is contesting a contract awarded to Messer Construction to renovate historic homes at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Cincinnati-based Messer Construction was awarded a project to renovate 29 historic homes at the base.

Joint venture Vazquez-RWB JV LLC has called for an investigation of that decision. In a protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office, they claim the bid process lacked transparency.

Joe Vazquez of Vazquez Commercial is with the joint venture. He says the team with the lowest price and most experience should have gotten the contract.

“We just want complete transparency. At this point, it doesn't appear that that might be the case. At the end of the day, no matter who wins this job, we just want the process to be fair, ” Vasquez said. "We just want the project to be done with the best possible company, as long as the taxpayers get to see the full transparency of this."

In a statement shared with WYSO, Messer Construction said it has more than 80 years experience working on contracts with Wright-Patterson.

“We recognize the historical significance of this project and are honored to have been selected as the general contractor," the statement says "Messer responded to the detailed expertise and cost qualifications that the government requested in its RFP.”

Wright-Patterson officials didn't respond to WYSO’s request for comment.
The federal government has until Feb. 4 to respond to the protest.

Ngozi Cole is the Business and Economics Reporter for WYSO. She graduated with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism in New York and is a 2022 Pulitzer Center Post-Graduate Reporting Fellow. Ngozi is from Freetown, Sierra Leone.