City seeks design-build teams for new Nelson Service Center

Center will include fleet maintenance bays, fueling services, more

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, 509.625.6505

Friday, August 2, 2013 at 11:11 a.m.

The City of Spokane is seeking qualifications from design-build teams that are interested in constructing what's called the Nelson Service Center, a combined Solid Waste Management and Fleet maintenance facility designed to create operational efficiencies and long-term savings.

The Nelson Service Center will be located on the southeast corner of a 32-acre, City-owned site in the Chief Garry Neighborhood at 909 N. Nelson. The City expects the center to cost between $12 million and $14 million.

The center will:

  • Consolidate repair and maintenance of the City's large vehicle fleet in one location, from three today.
  • Consolidate Solid Waste and Street operations with Fleet operations, including fueling stations, vehicle washing, and repair facilities, resulting in reduced travel time and fuel costs.
  • Replace aging facilities that are not appropriate for current use and exceedingly inefficient. These sites also will be freed up for redevelopment.
  • Allow for the conversion to compressed natural gas from diesel fuel for Solid Waste vehicles, providing significant environmental and financial benefits.

The City anticipates that it will generate savings over 10 years to cover most of the cost of construction, including $2 million from operational efficiencies and about $7 million from converting its Solid Waste fleet from diesel fuel to compressed natural gas. The City expects to convert that fleet over a 10-year period. Once the entire solid waste fleet is replaced, fuel savings could total up to $1 million annually.

“In all our work, we are seeking to provide greater value for our citizens,” says Rick Romero, the City's Utilities Division Director. “This project allows for more efficient and effective services and provides a solution that is both financially and environmentally responsible.”

This is the first design-build project undertaken by the City of Spokane. Under the design-build concept, the City will hire a single architect/construction team to manage the project from design through construction.

To proceed with a design-build approach, rather than the typical public bidding process, the City was required to receive approval from the State of Washington's Project Review Committee. The City received that approval on its first attempt in July.

“We believe this approach will allow us to speed construction time and maintain better control over our costs,” says Stacy Shewell, the City's project manager on the Nelson Service Center.

Responses to the City's request for qualifications (RFQ) from design-build teams are due by Aug. 19. In September, the City will select three teams that will compete for the final contract. Those teams will complete about a 30 percent design, and the City will select a winning team as a result of that work. More information on the design-build RFQ is available at

Construction is slated to begin in the spring of 2014, with the building expected to open in the summer of 2015.