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Council approves NLPD facility cuts

Excessive bid leads to $700,548 in cost reduction
A concept illustration of the approved facility design for the North Liberty Police Department. On Jan. 8, the North Liberty City Council approved a change order for $700,548 in project cuts following an excessive bid. (concept illustration by Police Facility Design Group)

NORTH LIBERTY– Faced with necessary cuts, plans are moving forward on North Liberty’s police facility. During its Jan. 8 session, the North Liberty City Council unanimously accepted the project bid and authorized execution of the contract, as well as a change order, for the North Liberty Police Department’s (NLPD) future station, to be located at 340 N. Main St., north of the fire department.

Tricon Construction was awarded the contract at its original Nov. 1 bid of $5.567 million– over $1 million exceeding the project’s initial estimate of $4.2 to $4.5 million– paired with a deduct change order of $700,548.

Following the unexpectedly high bid, the design team evaluated over 90 cost reducing options to keep the project moving.

“The design team believes that these recommendations will not substantially impact the scope and integrity of the project, and when completed will still provide the police department with an efficient, safe and professional facility,” read a memo in the Jan. 8 city council packet.

The facility will need $751,451 in additional borrowed funding.

Architect James Estes of the Police Facility Design Group addressed the city council during its Jan. 8 session.

“I believe that the project that you are getting is going to serve this department well for many years to come. It’s going to be very functional for them, it’s still going to be a point of pride in your community and it’s going to work well for you,” assured Estes.

“While the dollars that you had to spend were greater than you anticipated– certainly greater than we anticipated– you got the lowest bid prices out there on the project, through the competitive bidding process, and the contractors worked diligently with us to give dollars back on each item that we took out of the project.”

The single-story station will be approximately 16,000 square feet and designed to meet the department’s growth for the next 10 years. It will provide individual office space, four interview rooms, a cyber crime room, a large multi-purpose/training space and a squad conference room among other features. The city hopes to have the facility operational by late 2019 or early 2020.

During the council session, City Engineer Kevin Trom clarified access from Dubuque Street was removed from the project, which will save in storm sewer piping. A dry detention pond will be on site. During future development of the site, the road will need to be reconstructed to divert water along Dubuque Street to Main Street; detention will be put underground. The outdoor workout space will instead be an eating area, with the planned AstroTurf to be replaced with grass.

“I think the product that we’re going to end up with, we’re still excited about,” NLPD Chief Diane Venenga added. “It’s going to work for us; it’s going to be great.”

To be determined at an upcoming pre-construction meeting, the project is anticipated to break ground in mid March.