By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Construction and architecture firms have teamed up to propose designs and construction packages to the city, which is looking to build a new $15 million building that will house city offices and the police station.
Lydig Construction and Integrus Architecture will pitch their proposals to a special committee of city officials at 1 p.m., while BNBuilders and The Miller Hull Partnership will release their combined proposal at 3 p.m.
“It’s gonna be a tough decision. There’s two really good teams and two really good proposals,” City Manager Steve Burkett said Friday.
The pitches — which will be at the Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St. — will be open to the public.
The proposals will be on display for the public to review inside the Sequim Transit Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sequim residents can view visuals of the proposed designs, meet and talk with the design teams, and provide input on comment cards to the City Council and the project evaluation committee.
A third team, Hoffman Construction and Belay Architecture, was originally selected, but the proposals were well over the city’s maximum price, Burkett said.
All the construction and architect firms were from the Seattle/Tacoma metro area.
The city is looking to build a new City Hall, at a size of about 30,000-square-feet on the west 100 block of Cedar Street, just east of the current City Hall.
The new building will consolidate the city’s departments into one central location. Now, many city offices are located in the Sequim Village Shopping Center, 609 W. Washington St.
The project evaluation committee is comprised of Mayor Ken Hays, Councilwoman Laura DuBois, Councilman Erik Erichsen, City Manager Steve Burkett, Police Chief Bill Dickinson, and Public Works Director Paul Haines.
The project evaluation committee will meet in executive session at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday to review the proposals and recommend a team to Burkett.
Burkett will make his official recommendation to the city council when it meets the following Monday, Dec. 9.
Last week, the council approved a $200,000 increase to the cap on construction costs, up from the previous limit of $11.65 million to $11.85 million.
The project’s consultant, Court Olson of Optimum Building Consultants of Bellevue, told the council Nov. 29 that the design teams “just didn’t think that they could get to that number.”
Olson said the project could still finish within the budget target with the increased maximum price, though the built-in contingency budget will have to be reduced.
“We’re still within budget. We just have less contingency flexibility than we otherwise would have had,” Olson said.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2014 and be completed in 2015.
Earlier this year, the city sold $10,439,000 in bonds to fund the project. The council had authorized the issuance of up to $11 million.
The city’s annual debt payments will be less than a council-set limit of $660,000.
The city has spent $1.6 million in buying property and for consultants. Another $3.4 million will be taken from the city’s cash reserves.
Utility funds will be tapped to pay for portions of the building that will be used to house utility departments.
The bonds will be repaid from several sources: $225,000 from a public safety tax approved by voters in 2012, which raised the city sales tax by 0.1 percent; $200,000 from elimination of current rent for city office space, including the police station inside the Sequim Village Shopping Center at 609 W. Washington St.; $75,000 from the real estate excise tax; and $160,000 from current excess budget capacity.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.