May 11, 2017, City Council Regular Meeting
Motion to Amend Design Services Contract with Hussey Gay Bell for Central Precinct (Event No. 4693)

Recommend approval of Amendment No. 1 to Hussey Gay Bell in the amount of $127,925.00.

Historically the City of savannah has leased and repurposed existing space for Police Precinct facilities. This has led to substandard work places not suitable for modern Police work. In 2010 the City contracted with Precision Planning, a design consultant with many public safety/police projects in their portfolio, to develop a facilities assessment for SCMPD, and design a prototype Precinct facility to meet the needs of a modern police department.

Using this template, the City of Savannah is moving forward with developing a new Central Precinct facility at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and 34th Street. It will be the first police precinct in the City built from the ground-up specifically to meet the needs of SCMPD. This Precinct will provide ample office space for SCMPD staff and officers, a large squad room, three separate interview rooms, and a large community room that can be used for meetings or training events. The site will be pedestrian and bicycle friendly. The building is meant to fit within and enhance the surrounding neighborhood.

The City entered into a design contract with Hussey Gay Bell in January of 2017 to provide architectural services for the Central Precinct project. The services include completing construction documents for permitting, pricing, and construction execution, and administration during the construction phase of the project. Hussey Gay Bell was approved as a sole-source procurement since the firm had already provided partially completed construction drawings and specifications to the City under a previous design-build contract with Gilbane Building Company. The design drawings and documents were completed to approximately 90% when, under contract, Gilbane gave their guaranteed maximum price for construction (GMP), which was approximately $1,300,000.00 over the established project budget of $6,400,000.00. The City had an independent cost estimating company provide a construction estimate which came in $1,400,000.00 less that what Gilbane had provided.

The City was not able to agree on a price with Gilbane and it was decided that the design-build contract with Gilbane should be terminated and that design-bid-build procurement should be pursued. The contract with Gilbane was terminated in November of 2016. As the established Architect of Record, Hussey Gay Bell was approved for continuing the architectural services needed to provide a complete set of construction documents. The new contract between the City and Hussey Gay Bell was approved by City Council on November 22, 2016 in the amount of $198,800.00. The contract was executed between parties in January of 2017.

Contract Modification No. 1 is needed so that Hussey Gay Bell can complete revisions to the design based on several value engineering decisions that were made to bring the project within budget. From the time of contract execution with Hussey Gay Bell, the City has been working to identify the reasons behind the excessive cost and determine the most efficient ways to complete the project within the established budget while maintaining the programming needs of the SCMPD.

Contributing factors to the higher cost were found in the building programming, the extensive site improvements needed (including relocation of an existing street), the recent escalation of local construction pricing, and the constricted construction site (typically found in a developed urban area). Ultimately, it was determined that in order for the project to be constructed within budget, modifications were required to the original plans and programming. The focus was placed on reduction of the overall square footage of the facility and providing a more simplified building envelope design. At each step of redesign staff consulted closely with SCMPD. The necessary functions of the precinct have not been impacted and the facility will maintain the level of outgoing service to the community. Design modifications to date include:

  • Fitness and K-9 areas have been removed. The new Police Development and Training center has a fitness room for officer use, and the K-9 Unit has an existing facility.
  • An interview room and charging room have been removed. Two interview rooms remain in the structure, and there is room for future growth.
  • The size of the community room has been slightly reduced, though at 1,000 square feet it is still larger than our standard community room, such as in Fire Station 5.
  • The size of the squad room has been reduced, though it remains nearly twice the size of the squad room in the new Islands Precinct building.
  • The size of several ancillary spaces (break room, lobby, restrooms) has been reduced.
  • Structural masonry construction was replaced with steel columns with metal stud exterior walls. The facility still meets a Category 3 storm rating.
  • Roof changed to flat roof.
  • DIRTT walls replaced with sheet rock walls.

Despite these changes, the Central Precinct has a total of 13,263 square feet, nearly double the size of the recently completed Islands Precinct. The new facility will be state of the art, and will meet and exceed the needs of the modern SCMPD.



Peter Shonka, Assistant City Manager
Financial Impact
Review Comments
Central Precinct Amendment Purchasing Summary (1).pdf
Central Precinct Funding Verification Form.pdf
Central Precinct site plan.pdf
Initial Rendering Central Precinct.jpg
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