By Jeff Gallatin
City officials have rescheduled completion of the police station renovation project for February 2014 after the initial bids came in over the architect’s projected cost.
“The police station project is out for rebid due to initial bids coming in significantly over the architect’s estimate,” planning and development Director Kim Wenger said. “The scope of the project is basically the same, with a few minor changes; however, it has been repackaged in a way to reduce cost.”
Wenger and Mayor Kevin Kennedy said the minor changes would not affect the primary scope of the project.
“Originally the city included a significant allowance for asbestos abatement,” Wenger said. “Rather than wait for the determination by the contractor, the city had the testing conducted and found that there was very little abatement required, thereby significantly reducing the allowance. Portions of the project were packaged as alternates. Also, the project phasing was adjusted.”
Kennedy said the city utilized municipal workers do some of the interior work instead of having contractors do it.
“You’re talking about doing work like knocking down walls and interior work, which we can do in-house instead of having the contractor do it,” he said. “We also take out some of the fancier parts of the work and do it later if we choose.”
Wenger said the new bid date was set for yesterday (Aug. 13), and that the project will begin after Labor Day and be completed by February 2014. When the project was approved in May, officials had hoped to have the estimated $500,000 in improvements under way earlier and completed by the end of the year. The scheduled work is the second phase of work being done to upgrade station facilities and bring them into compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act regulations. The first phase was completed last year when work was done to improve the outside access to the building to comply with ADA requirements.
Paul Barker, chairman of City Council’s Finance Committee, said changes occur sometimes in big projects.
“Sometimes, contractors will look at what needs to be done and give you a more realistic look at what it will take to get it done financially,” he said. “That could well be what happened in this particular case. I’ve had something similar happen in my business (Barker owns and operates a grinding business), where the figures I got from the contractors when I needed some work done were closer to what it ended up actually costing. You just readjust and get the work done the best way possible when that occurs.”
Police Chief Jamie Gallagher said the change shouldn’t affect the department much differently.
“Whenever they start and work on getting it done, we’ll just have to adjust our routine to go around the contractors where they’re working,” he said. “We’ll need to give them room to be able to get their work done, and we’ll have to make sure we have enough to get our jobs done as well.”
The scheduled improvements include upgrading the public lobby area, increasing the size of the dispatch center, upgrading the locker room areas – including providing better facilities for female officers – and renovating both the detective bureau and command offices.
“It’s just a case where we’ll have to be a little patient and we’ll have a nicer facility when it’s done,” Gallagher said.