Low bid for new Junction municipal building is $1.56M

It’s going to cost Junction City well over $1 million to construct a new 10,000-square-foot municipal building to house city hall and the fire and police departments.

Mayor Jim Douglas opened bids from three firms that submitted plans for the project during the council’s regular meeting Thursday night.

The lowest bid came from Marrillia Design and Construction at a cost of $1,562,398. The next bids were from Morton Construction Co., for $2,597,256; and Churchill McGee LLC for $3,118,000.

Junction City Mayor Jim Douglas looks over a proposal for the construction of a new municipal building Thursday night. (Photo by Robin Hart)

“It’s going to take some time to go over all of this and compare,” Douglas said. Council members and police and fire employees were told they could study all of the plans individually, or they could meet in groups to discuss the proposals. “Let’s make sure that everybody is on the same track.”

After the meeting, City Clerk Susan Music said she sent out 20 RFPs (requests for proposal) and received three proposals.

According to the RFP, Junction’s requirements included a 10,000-square-foot facility with a 12-space lighted parking lot; and could be either a post and frame construction or a pre-engineered metal building.

Other requirements included:

  • a 3,000-square-foot office space for city hall consisting of a 20-by-30-foot mayor’s office; a 24-by-40-foot council room; a 15-by-15-foot break room; and toilets to be shared by city hall, police and fire departments; and a 600-square-foot storage room;
  • a 3,000-square-foot space for the police department, consisting of a 12-by-12-foot police chief office; a 12-by-12-foot officers’ space; a 100-square-foot communications room to be shared with the fire department; a 15-by-15-foot break room; a 10-by-10-foot secure evidence room; and four lockers for personal storage;
  • a 4,000-square-foot space for the fire department, which will include two drive-through bay areas for fire vehicles and apparatus; a 12-by-12-foot fire chief office; a 15-by-15-foot break room; eight lockers or personal storage; eight lockers for turn-out equipment; water, sewer and electrical for future turnout extractor equipment; and a 400-square-foot training room to be shared with the police department.

Douglas said the city will pay for part of the project with cash, “and take out a loan, probably. We’ve not decided yet which route to take. We’ll go where we can get the best interest rate.”

Junction City Council members Vicki Bowling, left, and Mary Hurst, look over plans for a new municipal building Thursday night. (Photo by Robin Hart)

He said the council started several years ago to find grants for construction of the municipal building with the help of The League of Cities.

Just as they were “starting to move forward,” the person writing the grants with the League of Cities left and the next person wanted to start over.

He said that’s when the council decided to go ahead with the project on their own.

The current city hall and emergency departments are located in a small brick building just down the street. Because of the lack of space, the council has to hold its meetings at the Junction City Community Center, which was built in 1882 and is adjacent to property where the new building will be located on Shelby Street.

In other city business:

  • The mayor and council members discussed the fate of “the little red caboose,” which sits next to the community center on Shelby Street. Douglas said he’s tried for two years to get rid of the caboose. “You can’t give it away” — nobody wants it, he said. He even thought about pulling it back to the railroad property behind the building and just parking it, he said laughing. Another option would be to give the caboose away for scrap.
  • Fire Chief Cory Kitchen requested funding to replace a fire truck’s steering gear. “We’ve got to take care of what we’ve got,” Douglas said. The council agreed and voted to pay for the repair.
  • The council approved paying about $2,100 to replace the heater in the maintenance building.
  • Junction City Fire Chief Cory Kitchen, center, looks at plans for a new muncipal building with council member Steve Martin, left. (Photo by Robin Hart)