Learn more about plans for new Nelson Service Center

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, 509.625.6505

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 10:16 a.m.

Learn more about the City of Spokane’s plans to build 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.

Citizens are invited to attend an informational meeting on the project on Thursday, Sept. 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the City’s Fire Training Center, 1618 E. Rebecca, just east of Spokane Community College.

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 are exceedingly inefficient with new adequate, safe, and secure facilities for employees and improved operations.
  • Allow for the conversion to compressed natural gas from diesel fuel for Solid Waste vehicles, providing significant environmental and financial benefits.
  • Free up the sites of current facilities for redevelopment.

The City is using a design-build approach for this project. Under the design-build concept, the City will hire a single architect/construction team to manage the project from design through construction. The City selected the design-build approach to speed construction time and maintain better control over costs.

The City already has selected three teams as finalists for the job. The finalists, which all happen to be based locally, include:

  • Garco Construction and Bernardo Wills Architects PC.
  • Baker Construction and Wolfe Architectural Group.
  • Lydig Construction and Integrus Architecture.

The teams are competing for the final design-build contract for the Center, by following the specifications outlined in a request for proposals. They will complete about a 30 percent design of the project, and the City will select a winning team as a result of that work.

To proceed with a design-build approach, rather than the typical public bidding process, the City received the necessary approval from the State of Washington’s Project Review Committee.

The City anticipates that it will generate savings over 10 years to cover most of the cost of project, 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.

The City identified the need to consolidate these functions to gain efficiencies and improved operations as early as 1983. A number of plans to achieve that goal were conceived over the last three decades, and Utilities Division Director Rick Romero says he’s pleased that the City has been able to develop a revised, cost-effective plan to achieve those goals today.

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

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