Councilwoman Valerie White voted against the motion. Councilman Jeff Flairty couldn't make the meeting.
The approval came after a presentation from the project's construction manager Ed Ide, of i3a, and Wade Clendaniel, of Fearn Clendaniel Architects, on the changes made to the project.
In the presentation, Ide informed council that the parties involved – i3a, Fearn Clendaniel, and the Police Building Committee – were able to cut the price from $4.9 million to $3.8 million as council asked.
"We looked at the project from a number of different ways to bring the building down to match the budget," Ide said. "Holistically we looked at the square footages and rooms that can be eliminated at this point."
The group came up with two alternatives to cut. The first alternate is the tactical training room and storage area in the basement. The second alternate is to remove the large security area currently in the feasibility study.
"We plan on keeping them as alternates as time goes on, and if the budget shows that we can bring them back into the project and award those on bid day we will do that," Ide said.
By cutting space from these two alternates out of the basement, the committee was able to save about $463,000. Other cuts made include geothermal energy, LED lights, fixtures, furniture, equipment, and soft costs. In total, about $1.134 million was cut to bring the total price of the project down to $3.76 million just under the $3.8 million cap set by council. The $3.76 million includes a $300,000 contingency that was required from council.
Ide said the next steps in the process would be to hire an architect and then continue on with the design process and complete the schematic design phase, which would be to refine the preliminary layout. The steps after completing the design phase will be to evaluate the alternates, evaluate the energy, evaluate the building material, and to continue to work with the committee in terms of getting grants.
Overall, Ide said there are five levels of design: a feasibility study, schematic design, design development, a construction document, and then bidding.
Council would go on to approve Fearn Clendaniel as the architects to proceed with the expansion.
After the meeting, Police Chief Wil Bordley said he's ecstatic the project is starting to move forward: "It's not everything I initially wanted. Obviously we had to take some things out in order to meet the budget. I hope we have a good bid day so those alternates come back into the project."
Mayor Pat Stombaugh is also happy with the approval by council.
"I really believe it's something that's extremely needed and it's an asset to our town," Stombaugh said.
Email Jennifer Dailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.