City names winner of design-build contract for new Nelson Service Center

Contract still needs approval from City Council

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, 509.625.6505

Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 9:31 a.m.

The City of Spokane is announcing that the team of Garco Construction and Bernardo Wills Architects LLC is the anticipated winner of the design-build contract for its new Nelson Service Center, a combined Solid Waste Management and Fleet maintenance facility designed to create operational efficiencies and long-term savings.

The contract, which is worth about $14 million and would cover both design and construction, still needs final approval from the Spokane City Council. The Council is expected to vote on the contract on Dec. 16.

“We are pleased to move forward with a contract with Garco and Bernardo Wills,” says Rick Romero, the City's Utilities Division Director. “We also want to thank the team of Baker Construction and Wolfe Architectural Group, who also participated in the process and presented us with an excellent proposal. The decision was difficult.”

This is the first design-build project undertaken by the City of Spokane. Under the design-build concept, a single architect/construction team is hired to manage the project from design through construction, following a competitive process. The City selected the design-build approach to speed construction time and maintain better control over costs.

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 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 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.

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 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.