City awards $250K ar­chi­tec­ture con­tract

Lo­cal firm to de­sign new util­i­ties de­part­ment com­plex

Yuma Sun - - FRONT PAGE - BY MARA KNAUB @YSMARAKNAUB

Yuma took the next step in build­ing a new $3 mil­lion Util­i­ties De­part­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion Com­plex dur­ing a Sept. 6 meet­ing. The City Coun­cil awarded the $250,000 ar­chi­tec­tural ser­vices con­tract for de­sign­ing the fa­cil­ity to Nick­laus Engi­neer­ing of Yuma.

How­ever, Mayor Doug Ni­cholls first re­cused him­self, cit­ing a po­ten­tial con­flict of in­ter­est “only be­cause my firm com­peted on this project.” He clar­i­fied that his com­pany, Core Engi­neer­ing, was not on the list of rec­om­mended firms, “but in all fair­ness for be­ing in the mid­dle of the com­pe­ti­tion, I don’t want to par­tic­i­pate for trans­parency.” He added, “Con­trary to what’s be­ing spread around the city, I’m not on the pro­posed team to be awarded this evening. How­ever, I’m still declar­ing my po­tent con­flict of in­ter­est and turn­ing the meet­ing over to the deputy mayor.”

Be­fore the coun­cil awarded the con­tract with a 6-0 vote, Coun­cil­man Ja­cob Miller ex­pressed ap­proval that the con­tract would be go­ing to a lo­cal firm.

“It’s been a long bat­tle for them. They’ve been con­stantly at the fore­front of this. And now tonight for them to be able to get this award is pretty re­ward­ing for them, be­ing able to re­ceive this and de­sign one of the fa­cil­i­ties for the city of Yuma,” Miller said.

The city in­tends to con­struct a new Util­i­ties De­part­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tion Com­plex and Main­te­nance Yard to re­place the de­part­ment’s ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties lo­cated at 190 W. 14th St.

“The ex­ist­ing struc­ture is func­tion­ally ob­so­lete and cur­rently does not meet the needs of the de­part­ment,” a staff re­port reads.

The “Old APS Build­ing,” as the cur­rent fa­cil­ity is called, houses the de­part­ment’s Sys­tems Divi­sion (dis­tri­bu­tion and col­lec­tions) with about 50 staff mem­bers.

The city plans to have the new com­plex de­signed in 2018 and built it in 2019. The min­i­mum 20,000-squarefeet fa­cil­ity will be lo­cated on about three acres at 200 W. 13th St.

The new lo­ca­tion will al­low the de­part­ment to con­sol­i­date sev­eral other di­vi­sions, in­clud­ing Ad­min­is­tra­tion, Pre­treat­ment and the de­part­ment’s ware­house into “one large fully func­tional fa­cil­ity” ac­com­mo­dat­ing about 70 in­di­vid­u­als. The fa­cil­ity will al­low for fu­ture ex­pan­sion.

The city re­ceived pro­pos­als from six firms: Arch­sol of Scotts­dale, EMC2 Ar­chi­tects of Mesa, Hamil­ton Ar­chi­tec­ture of Phoenix, LEA Ar­chi­tects of Phoenix, Nick­laus Engi­neer­ing of Yuma and Thompson De­sign Ar­chi­tects of Yuma.

The firms pre­sented con­cep­tual build­ing op­tions, with an­tic­i­pated con­struc­tion cost es­ti­mates. An eval­u­a­tion com­mit­tee of city staff re­viewed and rated the pro­pos­als.

In other ac­tion, Ni­cholls again re­cused him­self, cit­ing a po­ten­tial con­flict of in­ter­est, on an agenda item seek­ing ap­proval of an or­di­nance declar­ing a va­cant par­cel owned by the city as sur­plus, al­low­ing a prop­erty ex­change.

The 53-foot-by-170foot par­cel is lo­cated at the north end of the new Sprouts Farm­ers Mar­ket. De­vel­oper Six­teen & Four LLC wants to use the par­cel for ad­di­tional park­ing.

As part of a 2015 de­vel­op­ment agree­ment, the city asked Six­teen & Four to con­struct 15th Street drive­way im­prove­ments and the city would re­im­burse the com­pany. Six­teen & Four has agreed to ac­cept an ex­change of the par­cel as pay­ment for the $44,508 in costs.

The land swap re­quired an en­vi­ron­men­tal as­sess­ment since a gas sta­tion and dry clean­ers were pre­vi­ously lo­cated on the north­west cor­ner of 16th Street and 4th Av­enue. The city agreed to split the cost of the as­sess­ment at an ap­prox­i­mate cost of $8,000 to the city.

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