Growing needs: Queen Creek city council approves $2.5M to design new public safety building, fire station

The town of Queen Creek should have a new public safety administrative building and fire station by spring 2017.

Members of the Queen Creek Town Council at their March 4 regular meeting unanimously approved a contract with Phoenix-based CORE Construction for $2,586,149 to design a public safety administration building, new fire station No. 411 and design a prototype fire station and council chambers, according to the video of the meeting that can be viewed on the town’s website: http://queencreekaz.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=381&meta_id=16889.

The contract also includes construction services. Those costs will be negotiated at a later time.

Present at the meeting were Mayor Gail Barney, Vice Mayor Julia Wheatley and councilmembers Robin Benning, Jeff Brown, Craig Barnes, Dawn Oliphant and Emilena Turley.

The buildings would be constructed in the Queen Creek Municipal Center, which is home to the Queen Creek Town Hall, 22350 S. Ellsworth Road, and the Development Services Building, 22358 S. Ellsworth Road.

The fire station will replace the current Fire Station No. 411 at 22407 S. Ellsworth Road, across the street from the municipal center.

Funding for the project was included in the town’s approved five-year capital improvement project budget. It includes $2,901,070 for design services in fiscal year 2015-16; $4,098,930 for phase one of the construction of fire station No. 411 and the public safety administration building in fiscal year 2016-17; and $5 million for phase two of the construction in fiscal year 2017-18, according to information in the council packet.

The packet can be viewed online at http://www.queencreek.org/Home/Components/Calendar/Event/16982/124.

The new facilities will replace the existing structures, which are aging and no longer large enough to serve a growing population, according to minutes from the Dec. 9 pre-submittal meeting held between town representatives and applicants for the project.

The meetings can be viewed online at http://www.queencreek.org/home/showdocument?id=17722.

The minutes say the town’s population grew from about 4,000 in the year 2000 to 31,000 by 2014. Not only are the existing buildings aging but they also are running out of space as the town’s needs for service grow, according to the minutes.

In 2013, the town completed an update of its Municipal Center Master Plan. Its map includes a permanent public safety administration building and a new fire station No. 411. The new structures should be able to accommodate the town’s needs through its build-out population of 90,000 people, according to a presentation during the meeting by Tracy Corman, the town’s senior management assistant.

Work on the project would start immediately after the contract is approved, Ms. Corman said. The design process should be completed by January and construction could be completed by spring 2017.

The work will be done by CORE Construction, which also built the Queen Creek Branch Library at 21802 S. Ellsworth Road.

The town used a design-build process to select the winning design and construction firm, Bob Eubanks of Phoenix-based Eubanks Consulting LLC, told the council members at the March 4 meeting, according to the video. The process focuses first on identifying the best-qualified company for the project, Mr. Eubanks said. Once the top three contenders are selected by town representatives, those representatives start negotiating the total cost up through the start of construction with the No. 1-ranked team, Mr. Eubanks told the council. If the town and company cannot reach a satisfactory contract, the town has the right to declare an impasse and move to the No. 2 ranked team, and so on until the financial contract is agreeable to the town, he said.

The town issued a request for qualifications on Nov. 13, and a pre-submittal conference took place Dec. 9, according to Ms. Corman’s presentation. The town received 10 submissions by the Dec. 16 deadline, according to the presentation.

Town staff members evaluated the submissions Dec. 16-30. They met with the finalists Jan. 15.

Prior to the final vote at the meeting, Councilwoman Turley asked if the town had thoroughly reviewed the bidding process before determining which company to recommend.

Mr. Eubanks replied the design-bid process enables the town to select the best-qualified candidate for the best price.

He said he has used the method to select companies for 27 projects over the course of 15 years, including the Queen Creek library project, and during that time, there was only one instance in which he could not reach an agreement with the No. 1 candidate.

He said CORE was the contractor on the library project, which came in under budget.

The Queen Creek Town Council usually meets in regular session at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

The next meeting is scheduled for March 18. That agenda includes a public hearing and possible approval of RZ14-054 – Ordinance 567-15, SD14-057, SP14-055 and CU14-056 “QC District,” a request from Thompson Thrift Development for Planned Area Development (PAD C-2) rezone from Town Center to Town Center/PAD; conditional use permit (for an in-vehicle service facility); site plan with landscape and building elevations; and preliminary plat approval for QC District on approximately 20 acres. This project is on the northeast corner of Ellsworth Loop Road and Maya Road, according to the agenda.

The council also will discuss and possible approve of a construction services contract with Markham Contracting Company Inc., in the amount of $6,030,288 for the construction of Rittenhouse Road from Queen Creek Marketplace to Sossaman Road (IFB15-011). This project was budgeted for in fiscal year 2014-15, according to the agenda.

For more information or to view the agenda, visit the town’s website: www.queencreek.org.

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