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Phoenix approves public building contract, relocation

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune The current Phoenix City Hall on West 2nd Street.

A construction manager/general contractor has been selected for Phoenix’s new $13.6 million Government and Public Safety Building, and a plan has been approved for relocation of workers at the site where existing buildings will be demolished. The new structure will house a fire station, police station and administration offices.

Adroit Construction’s selection for the project was approved by Phoenix City Council Feb. 7. The body also approved a plan to relocate offices to the city Phoenix Plaza Civic Center during the rebuild.

State lottery funds will supply money for the new building. A modular fire personnel housing unit was damaged by the Sept. 8, 2020, Almeda fire. A former library houses administrative staff, while the police department is in a double-wide unit at the site on West Second Street.

A selection committee rated Adroit the highest of three applicants who submitted requests for proposals for the project. Gerding Builders and S+B James Construction were the other firms that applied.

The construction manager/general contractor integrates a contractor into the design phases so they can look at details, comment on efficient processes and do value engineering, said David McKay with HMK Company, which is overseeing the process. The goal is to align the scope of work with the budget. Once work begins, Adroit will conduct bidding by subcontractors.

“Adroit scored the highest, but it was very close, said McKay. HMK supervised the process that was conducted by the selection committee.

An initial contract with Adroit for work during the design phase of $75,000 was approved. Later the council will need to approve an overall budget, which will have a guaranteed maximum price. The project is currently in the schematic design phase.

Moving city administrative and police functions to the Civic Center was the least costly of three options explored and presented the least risk, said Richard Randleman, with HMK. An informal study was done first.

“We went through a more formal process to try to identify and troubleshoot and determine a risk and benefits analysis on each of the options,” said Randleman. “Some of these appeared to be the perfect option only to find out they weren’t.”

Other options were renting temporary office space in Phoenix and renting office trailers to be located in the Civic Center parking lot.

Cost of renting office space, if available, was put at $62,000 for the period, which is expected to run from May of this year until December 2023. Renting office trailers would have been more expensive, at $63,000, and would have required installation of temporary utilities. Cost to occupy the Civic Center is put at $10,000 for improvements for administrative staff and $14,400 for police, which includes moving a leased evidence storage trailer.

Police and administration would each have half of the multi-purpose room at the Civic Center. Groups that currently rent the room, including the Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters for its winter market, have been advised it will not be available. Randleman said there are other options to rent space in Phoenix.

Besides relocation of staff and police, a storage barn will be constructed to house fire equipment that is in the present fire hall. Since the fire, crews have been located at Jackson County Fire District No. 5, Station 1, just north of Talent and go to Phoenix to get rigs. District 5 provides fire services for the city and leases the hall from the city.

Construction of the barn using three storage units will come from the project budget. District 5 will hire an engineer and a designer to look at upgrading a pad created after the Almeda fire for temporary storage to site the barn, said fire Chief Charles Hanley. The district will also secure necessary permits.

“We can’t have those rigs outside. The pumps will freeze,” said Hanley. Cost of container purchase and barn construction is put at $38,000. Ultimately the barn will be converted into a training facility for firefighters.

Other options for fire equipment housing included renting storage space in Phoenix or renting storage containers, but neither appeared viable, Randleman reported. Storage space rental was put at $60,000. Renting of storage containers was the least expensive option, but would result in a suboptimal arrangement and the units are in short supply.

Reach Ashland freelance writer Tony Boom at tboomwriter@gmail.com.