Police Department planning open houses
The Great Bend Police Department is scheduling a series of open houses at its current 1217 Williams location in advance of the Nov. 2 general election. The city is seeking a .1% sales tax to pay for a new $5.8 million, 25,000-square-foot Police Station at 12th and Baker.
These will take place every Tuesday through September starting next week. They will run from 4-6 p,m.
“These are for anyone who is interested in coming in and viewing the facility,” Police Chief Steve Haulmark said. The goal is to show the cramped outdated building to demonstrate the need for a new structure.
“And based on interest, we could extend that throughout the following month,” he said. In addition, they’re going to make a video for those who don’t get an opportunity attend one of the open houses, and they are planning a Facebook Live presentation as well.
The city is also looking for the approval of a .2% sales tax for police and fire pensions. This may be brought up as well, Haulmark said.
Work on the plans for the new Great Bend Police Station and Municipal Court complex at 12th and Baker will commence. The City Council Tuesday night approved a $343,000 agreement with Wichita-based McCown-Gordon Construction to provide construction manager services for the project in what is now a city-owned parking lot.
This comes eventhough the fate of a .1% city sales tax to pay for the $5.8 million, 25,000-square-foot facility won’t be determined until the Nov. 2 general election.
“The city recently released a request for qualifications for the services and received eight submittals,” City Administrator Kendal Francis said. A mayoral committee consisting of city and community representatives formed last October reviewed and ranked them and conducted in-person interviews with the top three firms. McCown-Gordon was unanimously selected.
Basically, a construction manager coordinates the bidding and the construction process, McCown-Gordon architect Mitch Binns told the council. But, he stressed, his firm won’t be paid unless the project moves to the construction phase.
“It’s our risk,” he said.
However, should the tax pass and things move forward, Binns said their work will ease the process, avoid anticipated price increases coming next year, and save the city on the design and building costs.
This follows action by the council Aug. 16 when it approved a $498,500 bid from the Wichita’s GLMV Architects for the station’s design work. The firm was also recommended by the committee.
The agreement with GLMV includes a base price of $477,500, plus $21,000 for additional services for a total cost of $498,500. It advised the committee on the construction manager selection.
Both firms will now come up with an outline of what the building will look like. They will use national standards while tailoring the structure to the city’s needs, city officials said.
The design work should be done early next year, Binns said. Then they will begin to bid the project, using local contractors if possible.
The project was first addressed in 2016 when an engineering study for current police station on Williams Street was approved by the council. Championed by then-Police Chief Cliff Couch, there was discussion then that it would be preferable to start from scratch at a new location.
The idea was dusted off again last September when Francis brought up resuscitating the effort to replace the current 90-plus-year-old building.
There are plumbing issues, problems with the heating an air conditioning and outdated electrical systems. Compounding this is the space itself.
Years of remodeling have created a patchwork layout with wasted and unusable spaces, and most of the building is not handicapped accessible. Some improvements were made about four years ago to the current structure, but those were only stop-gap measures.
Research indicates the building was built in 1928 as part of the City Auditorium. At the time, the front portion that houses the Police Department also held the City Office and Fire Department.