Coon Rapids vehicle storage building done early

Construction of a vehicle storage building at the Coon Rapids City Center will be completed a month ahead of schedule.

The contractor, Jorgenson Construction, anticipates turning the building over to the city Oct. 1, according to Steve Gatlin, acting city manager/public services director.

The contract had a substantial completion date of Oct. 15 and a Nov. 1 deadline for turning the facility over to the city, Gatlin said.

Before the city can start moving vehicles inside the building, some computer hook-ups and connections have to be made by the city’s IT department, he said.

But Gatlin said he expects that work to be done by Oct. 15 at the latest.

The dry weather has been a major factor in the building being completed ahead of schedule, but there have few change orders or surprises, Gatlin said.

“The project has gone very smoothly,” he said. “I am very pleased.”

“The project has come in ahead of schedule and under budget.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony has been scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 16 at 6:15 p.m. prior to the Coon Rapids City Council meeting.

The bid from Coon Rapids-based Jorgenson Construction at $1,528,300 was well under the engineer’s estimate of $2,023,310.

The 20,000 square-foot building will provide covered storage for 54 police, fire, engineering, assessing and inspection vehicles which are now parked outdoors.

“The facility will increase operational efficiency and protect the vehicles from the weather,” Gatlin said.

The vehicle storage building was proposed by Councilmember Paul Johnson because many city vehicles are “mobile offices,” given the equipment they have inside them and should not be left outside, especially in the winter months, he said.

“This is a wise expenditure,” said Johnson, who described himself as “passionate” about the need for the vehicle storage facility.

The new building has been constructed in the area behind the police department on the city center campus.

In addition to the parking area, storage space is provided for police and fire needs, while a small wash bay and mechanical room with an air compressor have been included, Gatlin said.

The council set a $2.230 million budget for the project, including construction cost, architect fee and testing.

The project will not be funded from the property tax levy.

According to Gatlin, most of the cost will be paid for from existing dollars in the facilities construction fund which totals $1.5 million.

The balance will be taken from closed bond funds, money left over after the city has paid off bonds that it has issued that would normally be transferred to the facilities construction fund.

According to Gatlin, the annual cost to heat and light the building was estimated in the $36,000 to $44,000 range by the architect.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]