Site of New City Hall

An Illinois-based company has been hired by the city to handle the hazardous material abatement at the old Fricks building.

Brock Industrial Services, Sauget, was the low bidder for the work and was awarded a contract July 1 at a special Union Board of Aldermen meeting.

The work is needed to remove hazardous material so the building at 10 E. Locust can eventually be torn down. The city intends to build its new city hall on the site once the old grocery story building is removed. 

Brock was one of five bidders for the work and turned in a low bid of $45,599. The city had budgeted $62,500 for the work.

City Administrator Russell Rost said abatement bids tend to come in with very different numbers. The high bid for the work, Genpro Services, submitted a base bid of $118,400.

Rost said he is confident Brock would be able to handle the work.

Brock was expected to begin the abatement work immediately. Rost said the company is hoping to be able to get the flooring abated quickly.

Rost called the abatement the second step in the process. In June a metal addition to the Fricks building was removed leaving only the brick building behind.

With that done, the next step is abatement. Following abatement, the full demolition of the brick building can begin.

The demolition should go quickly, Rost said. Because the city isn’t trying to salvage materials, he said the building could be down in a matter of days. 

Work that didn’t need abatement has already begun. Rost said city crews recently went into the building with a skidsteer and pushed all the old counters and offices out of the main floor.

Rost said this work likely saved the city about $4,000 in demolition cost. More savings are expected when it comes to removing the roof.

The roof is made up of a mix of material that needs to be abated and parts that don’t. Rost said he expects to get a “negative change order” showing savings from Brock because the nonhazardous roof can be disposed of when the rest of the building is demolished. 

The goal is to have the old brick building down before school starts Thursday, Aug. 22. The building is located across Springfield Avenue from Central Elementary School.

“It will be gone by then,” he said. 

Rost said the city is going to have to close streets around the building during the demolition and doesn’t want to impact the school. 

The demolition project still is on schedule, Rost said. The city is currently seeking bids for the work. Bids are due Tuesday, July 16. 

Project Background

The city agreed to purchase the former Fricks grocery store in late March 2018 for $475,000 from Central Markets Inc. The city stated it intended to use the site for the first permanent designated city hall in Union’s history.

Based on requests for proposals while the city was picking firms to work with, the project was said to have a total budget of $4,050,000. The construction budget was listed at  $3,325,000.

The city has never had a building designated specifically for city hall. Through the years, it has shared space with the fire department, police department and now the city auditorium.

The auditorium has encountered Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues. Last year the city hired Horn Architects to conduct a feasibility study on the current auditorium.

The firm studied remodeling city hall, purchasing an existing building and renovating it to meet ADA standards, or building a new city hall.

Based on the study, the city decided the best way to move forward would be to leave the auditorium and build a new city hall.

The city’s goal is to have construction documents finalized this month and the project out for bid in August. The goal is to have the contractor on-site in September. 

Work is expected to be done in September 2020 with the city moving in the following month.