If Albany gets the voters' OK to go ahead with building a new police headquarters and a downtown fire station, the Mackenzie firm of architects most likely will get the job of designing both.
Separate city review committees picked the Portland-area firm from among several that had submitted proposals for the two projects, Fire Chief John Bradner and Police Chief Mario Lattanzio reported to the city council Wdnesday night. Now, as the next step, the city staff will negotiate a contract with the firm and submit it to the council for approval.
The review committees met with the competing firms and studied their written proposals as well as their suggested designs. Bradner cited Mackenzie's experience in designing such buildings. "They knew what they were doing," he said.
Councilman Floyd Collins said the designs will have to be refined and the drawings -- on display at the Albany Public Library for a week each in October -- did not necessarily show the final version of each building. Collins also pointed out that the city paid nothing for the work done by the firms that presented their proposals and drawings.
The council will get to act on the final plans for each building, probably in February, in advance of a planned May election on a bond issue to pay for the projects. Mackenzie's preliminary estimates were $13.9 million for the police station and just under $8 million for the fire hall. Its police estimate was the highest in the competition. For the fire hall replacement, it was about in the middle of the range of costs.
A citizen task force reviewing the police and fire building needs and plans will meet Thursday night (Nov. 13) to talk about financing, among other things. It is considering a $20 million bond issue to cover most of the cost. The CARA urban renewal district has agreed to contribute about $1.4 million and may be asked to pick up some so far unspecified additional share. (hh)