Alexandria is stepping into the design phase of its new city campus.
The city council voted to accept a proposal from CT Consultants architects for comprehensive design services for the space. The city purchased 9.9 acres of land at 8822 Constable Drive in 2020, floating ideas for a city building, a community center, a park, and a dog park, though no design plans have been finalized.
As the city continues to grow, Alexandria Mayor Andy Schabell said that city workers in the current building do not have enough space, including his office that is in a supply room.
The scope of the project, according to the proposal with CT Consultants, includes an approximately 20,400 square foot two-story administration building, an adjoining approximately 10,870 square foot community center building, a new police department garage, dumpster enclosure, constable street sidewalk, flagpole plaza, site signage, and landscaping.
“We’ve spent a good amount of time reviewing our needs for a new facility, and in addition, a fair amount of time studying multiple methods of project delivery,” Alexandria City Administrator David Plummer said.
The current project budget for construction and contingency (for facilities and site work) ranges between $18.38 to $19.48 million.
Plummer said the city expects the design phases to span approximately 11 months. The project is mapped in phases, and the city will have an opportunity to review the work that transpired at the end of each phase.
The anticipated time for the bidding process and construction work following the approval of the construction documents is approximately 14 months.
Alexandria had a steering committee for the project that recommended CT Consultants to the council for this work. Plummer said the city already has an engineering relationship with the firm, and the firm has extensive knowledge and work history of similar facilities.
CT Consultants will serve as the architect and the project manager, with John McGrath and Mike Anderson in those roles, respectively. The city will also hire a construction manager to oversee the construction phase.
McGrath said they will be with the project until the final walkthrough of the building before it opens to the public. However, once it goes to construction, the construction manager will take over, handle the build schedule, and maintain the budget for the work. CT Consultants will then transition to more of a support role.
“We do periodic site visits; we write field reports behind the scenes when we’re in the office, answering questions, assisting with different technical aspects of the design that the contractor may have,” McGrath said. “Or if the owner decides that they want to change something, which can happen during a long construction process. We’re there to assist to make sure that that happens properly.”
The design fee for CT Consultant services for conceptual design through construction document services is a lump sum fee of $930,000.
Alexandria also hired RSA Advisors, a Newport-based public financial advisory firm, to help the city identify its financing options.
“RSA Advisors has the best reputation as a municipal advisor in the state of Kentucky, and their expertise will be invaluable as we wrestle with how we want to finance this project,” Plummer said.
He said they expect a mixture of cash and bond financing will be necessary, and RSA can provide them with a framework to work through those details.
Schabell said hiring CT Consultants and RSA Advisors was a “huge step forward” in the right direction to getting the new city campus underway.
“We just don’t have any space, and we’re growing,” Schabell said. “I think this is the best thing we can do, and I appreciate counsel support and looking forward to getting the ball rolling.”
“We’re really looking forward to doing this,” McGrath said. “As I mentioned, we’ve been working with y’all for 25 years. This is the first major project that we’re going to do with y’all; we’re super excited.”