$1.1M to design new center | SteamboatToday.com

$1.1M to design new center

HLM presents draft costs of justice center to commissioners

Susan Cunningham

The architects working on Routt County’s justice center said it could cost more than $1.1 million for designs and engineering on the project.

The architects met Monday with Routt County commissioners.

The proposed costs include about $875,000 in basic services, which cover architecture design as well as structural, mechanical and electrical engineering, and $250,000 in consulting services such as civil engineering and audio/visual engineering.

The proposed costs are about 10 percent of the cost of the $10 million to $12 million building. Most companies charge about 10 percent for such projects, said Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan.

Architects from HLM Design of Denver presented the draft costs to county commissioners, who discussed the fees Tuesday.

The county chose HLM Design to plan the building in early 2001, when it was to be built downtown. When the proposed tax increase for the building failed in the 2002 election, plans were changed and a new site was chosen.

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Commissioners decided to keep the same architects, because they al-ready had approved the quality of their work and because the architects had collected a substantial amount of background information.

“If we had brought on new architects, we would have had to start from scratch,” Routt County Building Maintenance Director Tim Winter said.

Winter and commissioners will continue to examine the proposed costs before coming to an agreement. Although saving money is always important, it’s also important that the justice center is built well, Winter said.

“If you pay too little, you saved money, but if you get a lousy design, you’ve wasted it,” Winter said.

The ultimate goal, Winter said, is to design a good building for the right cost.

“(Our goal) is to design a building that really will be effective for the purpose that it has and people won’t be saying, ‘You’ve spent too much money on it,’ or ‘You’ve spent too little,'” he said.

Commissioners were directed to build a new justice facility before Sept. 1, 2006, by a court order.

Architects in-cluded a draft timeline for work along with their proposed costs. Under the timeline, the schematic design of the building will be finished by the beginning of winter and the complete design will take until February 2004.

With more complete designs, commissioners will have a better idea of how much the building will cost. About $7 million from the county’s reserves have been set aside for the building, with the remainder coming from certificates of participation.

According to the draft timeline, the building could be constructed by October 2005.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com