Spokane Valley moved one step closer to having its very own city hall Tuesday night with the award of a contract to Meridian Construction Inc.
“We’re in the black starting now,” said Mayor Rod Higgins
Meridian beat out eight other companies with a tally of $10,590,315 in tight bid race. There was a range of only about $1.5 million among the group for construction costs.
The council was able to shave off nearly a half-million dollars from the initial price of just over $11 million by eliminating wood ceilings from the council chambers and lobby plus replacing a steel fence for the motor pool area with chain link.
“Saving $470,000 feels pretty good,” said Council Member Ed Pace.
The contract is just one component of the overall $14.4 million budget – paid for with $6.3 million in cash and a 30-year bond issue to cover the rest -- for the new city hall, which will be built on the corner of Dartmouth Road and Sprague Avenue.
Council Member Sam Wood floated the idea of only constructing a half-basement for the 55,000-square-foot structure – a move which would have saved another $350,000 – but other council members argued that the low price and future need make a full basement a bargain.
“It’s probably the cheapest square footage in the city’s history,” said Council Member Bill Gothmann.
Pace said the lower level of the three-story building could also be used as a future art gallery.
Talks of building a city hall date back to prior to incorporation in 2003, and ideas have ranged from building on property near CenterPlace to renovating the old Crescent department store at University City. Currently, the city leases space at Redwood Plaza, 11707 E. Sprague, for about $445,000 each year.
Annual bond payments for the new city hall are expected to be about $420,000 annually.