07/27/12 — Transfer station cost at $3.2 million

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Transfer station cost at $3.2 million

By Steve Herring
Published in News on July 27, 2012 1:46 PM

Efforts to scale back the scope of the proposed GATEWAY transfer center has cut the initial cost estimate from $5.3 million to $3.2 million.

However, the state has been asked to modify grant funding rules to free up an additional $200,000 to pay for a security contractor and for a professional services agreement with architect David Gall.

Plans call for the transfer center to be built adjacent to Union Station, which is in the process of being renovated. Currently, the transfer station is located in a former fire station on East Beech Street.

Gall is expected to meet soon with Goldsboro and Wayne County officials, and the GATEWAY board will be invited to attend as well, Assistant City Manager Tasha Logan told GATEWAY board members at a meeting this week.

If the modification is granted, the profession service agreement would have to be approved by GATEWAY and the Goldsboro City Council, thereby setting the stage for getting the project ready to be bid out.

It would take five to six months to go through the final design work once a contract is approved, Ms. Logan said. As such, it would be early next year before the final design would be ready.

Board member Bruce Gates asked if the county was going to offer financial support for the project. Ms. Logan said she could not address that, but added that the county understands the need for the project.

However, there are competing projects and the question still is how much the final cost will be, she said.

GATEWAY Executive Director Terry Jordan said he has been working with Gall to get the cost of the project broken out into separate categories for the building and exterior work.

It is about a 50-50 split between the cost of the building and the outside work, Ms. Logan said.

"There is a lot of work associated with this project that is not part of the building," she said. "Following our meeting in April, the City Council expressed their continued commitment to the project and also a desire for staff to continue looking at the cost with David Gall."

A preliminary reduction sought by the city and county reduced the estimated cost of the project to $4.1 million. But county commissioners pressed for more cuts, with Commissioner Jack Best saying that the center needs to be an office building and not a "Taj Mahal."

Since a joint meeting between City Council, commissioners and the GATEWAY board, the project has been modified even more to bring the cost down to $3.2 million, Ms. Logan said. The costs include a contingency fund that has been reduced from 15 percent to 10 percent, permits, and contractor fees that have been reduced from 5 to 2 percent, she said.

Gall's final development proposal cost is $333,590, she said. That includes final design, bidding and contract administration, site borings, project rendering and equipment specifications and bidding. However, it does not include the cost for a special system contractor to handle security systems like cameras and card reader access for employees. Ms. Logan did not say how much more that might cost.

"We know we have some filler there because we don't have all of the details at this point," she said. "Based on those modifications that is what got us to $3.2 million. If you omit the project fees and just look at the building costs, the building cost is right at $2.8 million without those markups. About half of the cost is the building and about half is the exterior site work associated with the project."

The project costs include a contingency fund, permits, and contractor fees, she said.

The project also reflects an overall reduction of 10 percent because of inflation and because it is "so early" in the design process to know with certainty what the final cost will be, she said.

Ms. Logan said that a final design proposal based on the $2.8 million has been requested from Gall.

"That will allow him to come in and we can start finalizing things in terms of finishes in the building, any final modifications to layout so we can make sure this is the building that we want," she said. "He will take it through the final design and also develop the construction drawings.

"Once we have the construction drawings that will allow us the opportunity to bid the project out. That is where we are going to have the true cost of what it will take to get the building built."

Based on Gall's fee, the city has looked at how much has been spent thus far on design fees, about $156,000, she said. There is another $100,000 left in the budget for design, but it is not enough to cover the complete phase of development.

Gall's final development proposal has been sent to the state Department of Transportation along with a request to modify the grant to use additional funds for design, Ms. Logan said.

"That would be a modification of about $200,000 to accommodate the professional services agreement that we have for David Gall and then also keep in mind we will have to have someone come on board for those security systems," she said.