Sandy Springs will use almost $13.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) awards to cover a shortfall in funds for its police headquarters and municipal court at 620 Morgan Falls Road.
An adjusted project cost of $50.5 million was presented to the city’s Public Facilities Authority, which is made up of the mayor and City Council, during a meeting on Aug. 2. The authority approved the project, which will renovate and expand an existing building.
The city has already received $6.9 million in ARPA funds and anticipates getting the additional money soon. The bulk of the project costs will be covered by proceeds from $58 million in bond sales that also helped fund new fire stations.
By changing the materials used for the “exterior skin” of the building, removing the police auxiliary building from the project and working with city staff on other opportunities, $5.4 million in costs were cut from the project, said Charlie Whiting, director of commercial preconstruction at Reeves Young of Sugar Hill.
The changes also included relocating a planned fleet maintenance building from Morgan Falls to a city-owned lot at 8475 Roswell Road. The temporary fire station structure can be used for some of the fleet, he said.
The existing building at Morgan Falls Road will get a courthouse and lobby addition of 11,294 square feet and a sally port addition of 8,484 square feet, Jericho Design Group CEO Dough Shaw said. The sally port will provide a secure, controlled entry into the building.
The building will have a plaza out front by its new entrance and a courtyard created with the courthouse/lobby addition.
“There’s a lot of activity in this building, a lot of potentially stressful activities, and the courtyard will be a calming place for people to view it and relax,” he said.
The design removes many of the windows on the original building to reduce the heat and the energy load, Shaw said.
Councilmember Tibby DeJulio asked about construction material costs that have continued to increase.
“To be really frank, there are always challenges in today’s market,” Shaw said. “We’re trying to find creative ways to overcome them. Some of the ideas that we’re talking about now during design is making sure that we’re specifying products that we think we can get.”
The last phase of the project before construction will include guaranteed maximum pricing, he said. In that process, they will solicit the market and get actual subcontractor bids on all scopes of the project. A contract will lock those costs in. That is projected to happen by March 2023, with construction starting a month later. Substantial completion of the building is expected by April 2024.