The Falls Township board of supervisors recently acted on several items related to renovation of the 60,000-square-foot municipal building project.
On the heels of hiring Grace Construction as the project’s construction manager in February, the board unanimously approved advertising a request for proposals for architectural services for the project. Bids can be submitted through May 26 with an anticipated contract award within 30 days. Architectural services include pre-design, schematic design, design development, construction documentation, construction administration and inspections to complete a multi-story facility within the footprint of the existing building.
In an effort to pinpoint previous uses of the property, the supervisors voted 5-0 to accept a proposal from Remington & Vernick Engineers for engineering services related to the township building reconstruction project. As part of the contract, the firm will perform a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment, which includes a site inspection of all areas of the building and property, a review of available historic records, maps and photos, as well as review of local, state and federal agency environmental records for the site. The firm will review historic data to determine previous property uses dating back to 1931 or the earliest development, whichever came first. All information will be summarized in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Report. Total cost for the Remington & Vernick work is $5,900.
The supervisors unanimously accepted a proposal from township engineer Jones Engineering Associates to undertake engineering services for the design of site improvements for the project, including additional site access points, revised parking configurations, modified entrance configurations, enhanced landscaping and site aesthetics, site lighting and stormwater management upgrades.
The firm will conduct several project phases, including surveying and preliminary analysis, which will include an analysis of floodplain implications. Later phases include engineering design; bid administration; permitting; inspection and construction administration; field engineering; and construction administration. The total cost is $224,250. Jones Engineering Associates will seek geotechnical services and an environmental scientist to work on the project as well for fees of $9,000 and $8,000, respectively.
Among the varied tasks, the engineering firm will provide the project manager with alternate design solutions, including for police access, public works department access, code enforcement department staff access, public parking and access, as well as general site accessibility. Jones Engineering Associates will also prepare a plan for pedestrian access during construction to ensure safety.
Upgrades to the municipal campus are expected to reach completion by 2024. The overarching goal is to make the building more suitable for municipal and office functions. Officials have long said the township’s municipal building, which had several previous uses during its life, was not designed to accommodate municipal purposes.
Grace Construction anticipates work on the project continuing through November 2023. Construction is expected to begin in November and continue through September 2023. From there, a close-out is expected to wrap up by November 2023.
The supervisors considered constructing a new and expanded municipal complex in 2017, but ultimately shelved the project due to the high cost.