New Union City Hall Rendering

Submitted by Horn Architects 

A change order for the new city hall was approved at a special board of aldermen meeting last week.

Aldermen agreed to a change order to furnish and install a concrete parking lot on the site instead of an asphalt surface.

The change order is the second related to the project. City Administrator Russell Rost said the first was related to insurance.

This change order actually approves an alternate that Wright Construction included in its original bid. During the bid process, the city and its partner, Navigate Building Solutions, sought multiple bids for alternate projects.

One of the alternates was for a concrete parking lot. The city accepted Wright’s bid and all of the alternates in September.

Wright’s base bid for the new city hall was $2,577,000. Including alternate projects, the total comes to $2,669,585.

The final total includes $19,377 for the concrete parking lot. However, at the time the contract was awarded, Wright asked to hold off on the approval of the concrete sidewalk.

Based on comments by other bidders, Wright didn’t know if the cost could be reduced and asked to confirm the numbers.

Navigate reported Wright has since confirmed the numbers are accurate and can proceed with the concrete parking lot as proposed for $19,377.

In order to move forward, a change order had to be approved accepting the alternate. A special meeting was needed in order to not slow down the project.

The city said it prefers concrete to asphalt because it has a longer life and is easier to maintain.

With the approval, Wright’s deal still comes in lower than the city’s budget for the project. The city estimated the construction budget for the project at $3,003,838.

Work on city hall started in October. A groundbreaking ceremony was held Monday. Construction is expected to finish in September of 2020 with city staff moving in by October 2020.

Project Background

The city agreed to purchase the former Fricks grocery store in late March 2018 for $475,000 from Central Markets Inc. with the intent to turn the site into a new city hall.

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

The new city hall will be approximately 12,000 square feet and will house the city’s administration, collector’s office, boardroom, court, meeting room and engineering department.

To help manage the project, the city hired Navigate in October 2018. With Navigate’s help, Horn Architects, Washington, was hired in December 2018 to design the building.

Horn and the city had a previous relationship on an old project for a new city hall. Horn developed a city hall design concept in 1999-2000 that never moved forward due to funding. The two groups were brought back together in 2017 when Horn completed a feasibility study on the current city hall and identified all the issues with the building.

That study led the city to decide to leave its current facility and look for a new home.

The current city hall, which doubles as the city auditorium, is in need of work because it has a number of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) issues. Horn’s feasibility study on the current auditorium found a wide range of issues that needed to be addressed to meet federal standards.

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.

Once the new city hall is finished, the city plans to partially renovate and upgrade the auditorium. The majority of city staff will move to the new building while others, like the parks department, will stay behind.

The renovation work on the auditorium will start when the new city hall is finished.