City building rehab gets under way

In News by Reporter News

The City of Pearland hired an architect this week to design renovations of its City Hall complex.

City Council voted 3-1 Monday night to award a $407,000 design contract to Houston-based Hall, Barnum and Lucchesi Architects, a firm that has done work for the city in the past.

Councilman Tony Carbone, who cast the lone no vote, said he couldn’t pull the trigger on a $4.5 million to rehab a building when pressing projects had been put off. He mentioned bond projects approved in 2007 that are not complete.

“I haven’t seen anything that pushes me over the hump in terms of this,” he said of the City Hall renovations. “We’ve still got ’07 bond issues that voters voted on that aren’t complete.”

Much of the planned construction project for the 30-year-old buildings involves plumbing, fire protection and electrical, with some general renovation work, staff said.

“It’s getting pretty old,” Mayor Tom Reid commented. “The longer we put things off, it will create other problems.”

Councilman Scott Sherman said that while would have preferred a new City Hall complex, he agreed that the city must maintain the buildings it has.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do,” he said.

The design phase is expected to last about six months. Including design, the $4.9 million project will renovate all three floors of City Hall and its community center annex. Plans also call for a restricted access and badge system at City Hall, with security cameras, exterior lighting and upgrades to teller windows where cash transactions are handled.

The city is giving some TLC to one of its oldest subdivisions, having approved contracts for paving, waterlines and drainage in Regency Park.

“When I moved here in ’65, it was here,” Mayor Tom Reid said of the Regency Park, the oldest paved subdivision.

“These roads I’m told are 40 years old, which is quite an anniversary,” City Manager Clay Pearson said.

A $312,800 contract was awarded to AARK Engineering LLC for construction management and inspection services, and a $3.3 million contract for construction to SER Construction Partners LLC.

Construction is expected to begin in May, and projects should be “substantially complete” in 11 months.

The paving project came in at about $156,000 over budget, and $173,600 over budget on water and sewer projects. Both the overages will be covered by existing city funds.

Bids coming in over budget because of rising costs appears to be a recurring theme, and not just for Pearland, Pearson said.

“Construction and civil engineering work are coming back very high for materials,” he said.

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