Warner Robins RDA board increases max cost for law enforcement center

chwright@macon.comOctober 9, 2012 

WARNER ROBINS -- The Warner Robins Redevelopment Agency board voted unanimously Tuesday to raise the contract price for the law enforcement center to $7.07 million.

Gary Lee, Redevelopment Agency executive director, said unforeseen costs related to a storage building and the main building have required a higher price ceiling for construction. The board also discussed underground utilities in the area and the project’s progress.

“Hopefully, we stop now” with cost adjustments, Lee said. “There are things that have to be done.”

It’s the second change the board has made to the guaranteed maximum price for the construction of the new police headquarters, located at Watson and Armed Forces boulevards.

More than five years ago, a $5.8 million ceiling was originally approved. When RDA board members approved the start of construction in September 2011, they increased the maximum price to $6.98 million.

At a tour of the building last week, JMA Architecture’s Jim Mehserle said the project was on budget. JMA is the architecture company selected for the project.

However, Lee said Tuesday’s price increase was required when additional costs arose over the course of the project.

A pre-existing building intended to be used for an external storage unit was unusable and a new one needed to be built from scratch, Lee said. Also, bulletproof glass for a room and two rear doors for Police Chief Brett Evans and Maj. John Wagner have been added to the original design.

Construction on these projects is already under way. Lee said no contingency funds were provided in the project budget.

Also Tuesday, the board unanimously approved a contract with Flint Energies to allow the company access to a city right-of-way to install underground lines.

Last month, the board approved an $81,000 installation fee for the underground electricity lines. At the time, board members agreed to move all utility lines in the area underground.

“It’s 21st century technology” at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex located across Ga. 247 at Robins Air Force Base, Lee said. “And then you come across the street, and it’s like you stepped back in time.”

The board also discussed an AT&T proposal to move existing overhead phone lines underground for $39,264. It’s more than the $10,000 estimate provided to board members at last month’s meeting. Those lines don’t necessarily service the new building, Lee said.

The board agreed to table the item until city council members can be consulted about funding possibilities. The board asked to have a proposal from Cox Communications available at the same time, so all underground utilities costs could be considered at once.

Mark Greenfield, of International City Builders, said the law enforcement center project is on target to be completed early next year. By January, landscaping and asphalt paving will be the only unfinished tasks.

He told the board a final decision about mortar color must be made by next week. Lee said Mayor Chuck Shaheen asked after last week’s tour to consider gray or tan mortar, instead of the red originally selected. Samples of each color will be ready next week.

The board agreed to possibly call a meeting early next week to vote on the mortar color.

To contact writer Christina M. Wright, call 256-9685.

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