Jacksonville council agrees to new plan, timeline for public safety project
by Laura Gaddy
Oct 07, 2013 | 3435 views |  0 comments | 69 69 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE – The Jacksonville City Council on Monday agreed to pay architects $102,700 to rework plans for a public safety and court complex.

“It starts the ball rolling where we have been sitting still because we were making decisions,” said Councilman Truman Norred.

Under the terms of the agreement the council will pay Architects Design Group of Winter Park, Fla., to redesign a parking lot and to remove a new City Hall building from the plans. The city had planned to pay the firm $280,000 for a complete redesign of the project, but last week council members decided to scale back the the redesign to save money and time.

The development will house the police and fire departments, a jail, and a courtroom, which will double as a public storm shelter. A timeline released Monday by the council shows that an expected completion date for the project of July 30, 2015.

Even though the city saved money when it decided to scale back the scope of the redesign last week, Norred said the new fee for the redesign is higher than expected.

The cost for the redesign is a portion of what the city will pay the architects. The city will also pay the firm 6.5 percent of the project’s overall cost, which is expected to be between $10.5 million and $11 million, officials said. To date the city has paid Architects Design Group $397,444.05, said Jarrod Simmons, the city’s financial officer.

The city borrowed $14 million through a bond issue for the public safety project, and expects to have $3.2 million left over. The remaining money will pay for the renovation or replacement of City Hall, which will now be built closer to the city’s Public Square.

After the final design for the public safety project is completed, it will be turned over to an estimator who will give the council the final projected cost of the project, city leaders said. The project will then go back to the architect, who will create construction documents.

Once that step is complete the city will be able to solicit bids for the project from contractors.

Staff writer Laura Gaddy: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LGaddy_Star.

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