County hires architect for improvements of recently purchased building
With the recent purchase of the Administration Annex Facility, county officials are turning their attention to renovating the century-old building.
The Yuma County Board of Supervisors approved a contract with Hunter and Company in the amount of $168,850 for architectural design services for the three-story building with basement originally constructed in the early 1900s.
Yuma County bought the 52,000-square-foot building located at 197 S. Main St., in the Yuma Downtown Historic District across from the Yuma County Administration Building, for use as office space, storage and other purposes.
The county has been looking for additional space since 1999 to relieve overcrowding at the Adult Probation Office, which also houses the offices of the assessor, recorder and treasurer on the lower floor.
According to a staff report from Roger Patterson, county engineer, a three-person selection committee reviewed statements of qualification from four qualified, local architectural firms. Hunter and Company was the highest-ranked applicant.
Based on the review of the written proposals and the specific needs of this project, the firms were ranked based on project experience, firm qualifications, specific project knowledge, approach, familiarity with the project area and ability to work within the schedule.
Hunter and Company “demonstrated extensive rehabilitation and downtown Yuma experience which are specific needs for this project,” Patterson said.
The firm has also assisted with preliminary review and cost estimation on the project and has local knowledge and the willingness to work on a limited budget, he added.
The services will be performed in two phases. First, the architect will review the space-needs assessment, available information and prepare preliminary floor plans, exterior and interior images and prepare preliminary cost estimates.
The firm will present three alternate concepts, with future improvements to include a Board of Supervisors auditorium.
Once the supervisors select a preferred alternative, construction plans and specifications will be prepared.
The contract will also include architectural review services during construction.
Closing costs and renovations to the structure put the building's price tag at $5.4 million, with remodeling being the majority of the cost. Officials hope renovations start by the end of this year and that the building could be occupied by mid-to-late 2014.
The building is currently vacant but was recently used as a retail store and a deli.
In other business, the board authorized submission of a grant application to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development for a Rural Business Enterprise Grant for funds to develop a business plan for the industrial park at the San Luis Port of Entry II.
The Greater Yuma Port Authority is in need of a business plan to define goals and objectives for the next 10 years, according to Monty Stansbury, development services director.
GYPA requested the county's assistance in submitting the application for the grant in the amount of $80,000. No matching funds are required.
GYPA has committed to paying for any shortfalls in the performance of this project, Stansbury said.