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City looks at public works facility

FAIRMONT — The Fairmont City Council spent its work session going over a Fairmont Public Works facility project that has been discussed for the past six years. The council met with director of public works and city engineer Troy Nemmers, Joey Wendinger from ISG, and project managers John Pristach and Scott McLean with Kraus-Anderson Construction to go over a presentation for the Fairmont Public Works project.

The facility was assessed in 2015 and found the project needs that were defined in the presentation.

Architecturally, the needs were to salvage the 1975 addition with minimal interior renovations and demolish the 1967 building to to make room for additions to include a vehicle parking garage, mechanical shop, welding shop, sign shop and administration.

“Being at different facilities that I’ve worked at in the past this one is OK, but it’s lacking in a lot of space and spots for safety and well-being of employees and also the size of the building,” park & street departments supervisor Nick Lardy said. “We have a lot of equipment that is spread out into three different buildings and that makes it a challenge.”

Among that equipment is 146 vehicles or small equipment from fire department ladder trucks all the way down to skid loaders.

Mechanically, the needs were to replace heating and ventilation systems with new systems, consider adding mechanical cooling systems in offices and break rooms, and other needs with a new water service and flammable waste traps.

Electrically, the needs were to upgrade the break rooms and restrooms to energy-efficient lighting, replace noncompliant exit signs with illuminated ones, and replace exterior lighting with low-maintenance energy-efficient options.

The site and building analysis factors to restore the facility included expansion challenges, soil corrections, costs to bring building up to code, overhead clearance, and space requirements. The design options included eliminating the wash bay, reducing square footage in the parking garage and alternating construction types.

The original cost for this project started at $5 million in 2015, but increased by 7 percent each year. At the end of 2020, the project totaled $9.8 million.

Inside of the presentation, the Kraus-Anderson Construction focus areas were presented. Those areas included understanding project goals, validating a budget, constructability and quality review, and project timing.

“We brought Kraus-Anderson and that was very beneficial to look at things from a little different angle,” Nemmers said. “We did find some savings and alternatives looking at that. We’re kinda hoping that we can get enough information out so everyone can feel comfortable moving forward with this project.”

The budget breakdown consisted of an owner’s budget of $9,797,000. The hard construction costs totaled $8,738,233 and 5 percent construction contingency included totals up to $433,935. Soft costs totaled $690,000 and owner costs totaled $354,700. The grand total projected costs totaled $9,782,933.

The constructability and quality review had the ISG and Kraus-Anderson perform an extensive document review process and 178 items were reviewed including water proofing, flashings, connection details for expansion and contraction. This process is important, according to the presentation, when it comes to more competitive bids, long-term quality and building performance, reduction in cost increases during construction and contingency protection.

If the City Council approves a bid on Feb. 8, the ground-breaking ceremony would begin on March 16 and the project would end on Jan. 29, 2022. There were talks though that the process could be delayed if the materials of the building were to be made with precast cement or steel. Steel would last 50-60 years while precast cement would last 50-75 years.

“My concern is if we’re spending this kind of money is that I certainly want to do it right,” said council person Bruce Peters. “I’m a do-it-right kind of person. We’re going to spend the money we ought to do it right. Fifty years down the road and if we’re tearing this down or it’s in the same boat as now. I think the general population would be proud of us if we had something that was still standing, still structurally sound and serviceable.”

At the city council meeting, the council approved to advertise bids on the project. The next step will be the council approving a bid at the Feb. 8 meeting.

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