By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
ALLEN PARK – City Council approved a construction contract for the new city hall and police complex to J.S. Vig Construction Co. Aug. 29 for $5.7 million as presented by CEO Joseph Vig.
The renovation of the building, 15915 Southfield Road, has a May 1, 2018 completion date, to coincide with the expiration of the city’s lease on its current city hall space, 16630 Southfield Road, the site of the former Unity Studios, now owned by New York-based Time Equity Inc., which purchased it from the city in 2014 for $12 million.
J.S. Vig, which is overseeing the project, sent out 31 bid packets, divided by trade, to subcontractors. Vig said effort was made to send bid invitations to local contractors and suppliers qualified to work on the project.
Vig said the city’s architectural firm, CDPA Architect and Planners, C.E. Raines, the city’s engineers and Allen Park city officials’ close work with them during the bid evaluation process was invaluable.
“It’s rare that a contractor recognizes the architect and engineers, but I would like to give them some credit for what’s happened in the last couple of months,” Vig said. “(Buidling Official) Dave Boomer had suggested that we start meeting as a team, and we set some fairly strict deadlines based on what is happening in the marketplace and your deadlines and getting these bid drawings completed. CDPA and Raines worked pretty tirelessly to get the drawings done and to respond to the multitude of questions during the bid process.”
City Architect Najim Saymuah said special attention will be focused on the roof, given the leakage and mold problems the city experienced at its former location, the building demolished earlier this year.
“It is an upgraded roof,” Saymuah said. “It is a 30-year warranty, the membrane is double industry standard, with substantial drainage and slope. I come from the school where the roof is the most important piece of the building.”
Saymuah said they are repairing the existing building roof where needed, then installing new insulation and a new membrane as well.
Vig said what the city specified for the roof and what they are getting is an upgrade.
“We were able to get pretty aggressive pricing on a very upgraded roof from a roofer who had spent a considerable amount of time on top of the building and had done investigation,” he said. “This is one area where relative to what is at that building, we are not improving incrementally, we are improving substantially. But we knew we had to, because that roof was failing.”
Vig said that after bids were submitted, they met with the contractors to find ways to improve the construction quality and the pricing.
“As we worked with the construction team, there was a lot of discussion of how can we save money without compromising quality, and how can we add quality without adding any additional cost,” Vig said. “So there were some scope adjustments made to the project, like the front facade.”
Another savings will be realized with the police department secure carport, which will be paid for at the new location using drug forfeiture money.
Vig said city officials would be impressed to know how many people among the subcontractors that the team met felt a deep allegiance to the city.
“In a very busy construction market, (they) went out of their way to do this job out of a sense of pride, and they wanted to be part of it,” Vig said.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)