Construction on the Town of Lancaster’s new police and courts building is months ahead of schedule and should be completed by July, the senior project manager told The Buffalo News Monday night.
Work on the law enforcement complex is about two-thirds complete and will be finished well before the contractor’s Oct. 31 deadline, said Gwen A. Howard of Foit-Albert Architects.
Howard gave the update shortly before the Town Board voted to hire an interior designer to guide the purchasing of furniture and furnishings for the building and to put $75,000 into a contingency account to cover changes to the project requested by Lancaster police.
“The project is under budget and on time,” Councilman Mark S. Aquino said at the work session that preceded Monday’s board meeting.
The Town Board in 2011 borrowed $10 million to pay for a police and courts building at 525 Pavement Road at Pleasant View Drive. Last May, it hired Javen Construction and three subcontractors for $6.85 million to build the facility.
The project remains $1 million under budget, Howard and Supervisor Dino J. Fudoli said Monday, even with $350,000 added last fall to cover extra costs driven by the unstable condition of some of the soil and items discovered buried at the site.
The contractor’s contingency account initially had $87,800 in it, according to town records. This account now has about $31,000 left, after money was taken out to cover previous changes to the project requested by police officials, Howard told The News.
Howard asked the board to put $75,000 more into the contingency account to make sure there is enough money to cover future change requests.
Howard and Police Chief Gerald J. Gill Jr. told the board that police officials are requesting changes to the building to boost efficiency and improve the safety of department staff, the public and prisoners. These changes are coming in now because it’s easier for police officials to see how the building will be used when the structure is in three dimensions and not just an architectural rendering, Howard and Gill said.
Howard, who must review any proposed changes to the project, said police are mindful of the extra cost for any alterations and have been judicious in making new requests.
“It’s not going to be a piggy bank,” Terrence D. McCracken, general crew chief for the Department of Parks, Recreation & Forestry, added at the work session.
The board also voted Monday to hire Jill Marie Interiors to serve as a consultant on the police and courts building at a rate of $62 per hour for a maximum of 100 hours, or $6,200. The town was not required to put the contract out to bid because it is for professional services.
The firm’s Jill Hosmer will conduct an inventory of the furniture and furnishings in the town’s current police and courts building and determine how many desks, chairs, lamps and other furnishings and pieces of furniture the town will need to buy for the new facility and where those items will fit in their new space.
This cost could reach a couple of hundred thousand dollars, McCracken said during the work session, but the town should save money by hiring Hosmer to determine its furniture needs rather than relying on the vendor’s opinion.
The town will put the furniture and furnishings contract out to bid after Hosmer has completed her study, McCracken said.
Once construction is completed this summer, the town will begin the complicated process of moving the Police Department and Town Court into their new home. This task could take weeks, but detailed planning hasn’t started yet, McCracken said in an interview.