Site of New City Hall

The new Union City Hall project is moving along and approaching some milestones.

Aldermen and city staff were updated on the project Monday night. Representatives for Horn Architects, the design team, and Navigate Building Solutions, the project manager, briefed the board on the status of the project.

Design Update

Steve Strubberg, with Horn, showed off the latest floor plans and told the board the project is moving closer to the final design.

The city is planning to build the new city hall on property located at 100 E. Locust. The old Fricks market currently sits on the site.

Strubberg said the new building will be smaller, but occupy a similar footprint. Like the Fricks building, city hall will be set to the back right of the property.

Unlike Fricks, the city hall building will not extend to the sidewalks bordering Jefferson and Springfield Avenues. The plans call for the building to have setbacks away from the sidewalks.

Strubberg said this will improve sight distance for drivers on Jefferson and Springfield streets.

The rest of the property will be used for parking. A total of 44 spots are planned for the site.

The schematic floor plan is similar to the one the board saw in February. The approximate 12,000-square-foot building is designed to house the board, administration and engineering offices and the city’s municipal court.

The building would front on Locust Street. The main entrance would lead visitors into a lobby. On their right, in the northeast portion of the building, would be the board meeting room.

The board room will have seats for 72 guests and a dais for aldermen. South of the board room will be offices for the city’s municipal courts, a secure conference room for executive sessions, a large conference room for training and a place for secure files.

Just left of the main entrance, in the northwest portion of the building, will be the city’s administration area. Two clerk windows will be built to handle payments for city services.

The area also will include office space for the city administration and other city staffers.

The city’s engineering department would be located in the southwest portion of the building. This area will have a separate entrance that has access to a side parking lot.

The idea for the entrance and side lot is to give developers a chance to have easy access to the engineering offices while also preventing mud from being tracked throughout the building, Strubberg said. 

Budget Update

Jennifer Kissinger, with Navigate, said numbers for the budget are being tweaked and trimmed.

Kissinger said the original project budget was $4,050,000. That number included $2,850,000 in construction costs.

When Navigate prepared some numbers in late February, the project was trending over budget, she said. At that point, the total estimated cost was $4,403,073 with $3,149,708 in construction costs.

At Monday’s meeting, she said the estimate had been tweaked and lowered to get more in line with the original budget.

The revised estimate calls for a total project cost of $4,037,296 with $2,915,675 being spent on construction.

Kissinger said the estimates were trimmed in a few ways. The first was by lowering the contingency fund. She said based on the market, Navigate does not expect bids to come in way over budget, meaning the contingency could be lowered to from 10 percent to 5 percent.

The next step was to create alternate items. She said some parts of the project will be pulled out of the base bid and could be added back if the bids came in under budget.

The alternates include getting prices for an asphalt parking lot instead of a concrete lot, a fire protection system since one is not required by city code, wood panel accents for the building and an ice melt system for the front entrance.

Another alternate is the replacement of the Locust Street sidewalks. Kissinger said they are in good shape so it is possible to leave a full replacement out of the base bid.

Kissinger said the next steps in the project will be to look at the exterior renderings at the April meeting. At the May and June board meetings, the board will look at interior finishes.

In May and June, the city will bid out and perform abatement at the building. The demolition is set for June/July, she said.

At the June board meeting, Kissinger said the board will be briefed again on the design development estimate.

The next milestone to hit will be in July, she said. That’s when Navigate wants the city to finalize construction documents.

After that, the project would be out for bid by August with work starting in September. The goal is to have most of the construction done in September 2020 with city staff moving into the building by October 2020.