The new Maryville Public Safety building is getting closer to design completion.
The current public safety building is in the process of being replaced by a new, modern public safety building. City Manager Greg McDanel said that the city has worked with Williams Spurgeon Kuhl & Freshnock Architects Inc. to design a new public safety building over the summer.
The design comes after a discovery in April that under Missouri House Bill 2376, Maryville cannot go with a design-build plan. Instead, the city must use a design-bid-build plan. This has cost Maryville more time and money, in the amount of $245,000.
Throughout the summer, McDanel and city officials worked with Williams Spurgeon Kuhl & Freshnock Architects Inc. to find an appropriate design for the new public safety building.
“We’ve had multiple design meetings with the architects coming up with a site plan likely a two-story design component to it with four or five different bays, double pull-through bays,” McDanel said.
McDanel said there is no timeline on this project but he has a target of starting the building process in spring 2019.
“We don’t have a definitive schedule right now,” McDanel said. “We are currently operating in a building that does not serve its purpose very well for our staff right now.”
Part of the design process has been making sure the new building is up to standards.
“It takes some time to go through with an architecture firm and go through all the details from access control points, to evidence procedures,” McDanel said. “There is so much more now in law enforcement that our current building doesn’t have.”
One example McDanel gave is that by law enforcement standards, a town the size of Maryville would need three to four interview rooms.
“We currently have one room that serves a whole other bunch of different purposes,” McDanel said.
The addition of two to three more interview rooms would mean a need for more square footage and thus costing more. McDanel said this is all part of the design process.
“Do we really need four, or would we be significantly enhanced with two,” McDanel said.
One of the people at these meetings is Northwest instructor, city council member and firefighter Matthew Johnson, who pointed out why the new building is needed.
“The citizens of Maryville had agreed to fund some improvements in Maryville, including a new public safety building which we needed desperately given that we have been rolling out of a grocery store for about 30 years,” Johnson said.
Johnson said that the whole design process has been long, partly due to the architect not producing a building within budget.
“We give them a budget, they give us blueprints,” Johnson said. “They then tell us how much this building is going to cost in an estimate, and then we would remind them that ($4 million) is our budget.”
Johnson said he thinks the architects and engineers need to be aware of the budget constraints too.
“I hope the architects and the engineers are aware of the budgetary constraints that the city is under, and that we stay focused on making a functional building for $4 million with the understanding that it’s got to be around for 40 or 50 years,” Johnson said.
Johnson said the meetings have been about balancing what is necessary and what is desired.
“There is a negotiation between wants and needs,” Johnson said. “What do we absolutely need to have in this facility given our desire to be good stewards of the people's money and make sure that we utilize that building to its fullest potential?”
For the fire department’s perspective, Johnson said there is very little that is necessary. The biggest component is more space for equipment.
“The fire side is pretty straightforward,” Johnson said. “We need room for our equipment and then a little bit of (room for) administration for our captain and lieutenants.”
Because of this, there has not been much discussion about the cost of the building concerning the fire department. The police side has been different.
“I’ve been really impressed with the way the police side has been realistic with how much money we have and being aware of making a realistic judgment between wants and needs,” Johnson said. “They’ve been quite flexible and helpful in that process of staying focused on the utility of that building and the dual purpose nature of some of those spaces.”
The design process, per McDanel, is about 70 percent complete. Once completed, a public bidding process will take place and is expected to last 30 days. The lowest bidder will be presented to city council for approval. McDanel said if all goes according to plan, he hopes to see an opening of the new Maryville Public Safety building in the spring of 2020.