Public safety building to have Princeton flavor

Princeton’s new public safety building will have a local flare when construction begins later this year.
Princeton-area contractors were awarded three of eight bids – including the two largest – deemed critical by construction manager Greystone Construction. The bids were approved by the council to keep the project on schedule.
The $2.1 million public safety building, which got a green light from the council at its March 14 meeting, will be located at First Street and 21st Avenue in the south end of the city’s Aero Industrial Park.
The bids reflect an additional garage bay for the fire department and an exposed aggregate building exterior that were not included in the original building plans.
The largest award went to Thompson Construction of Princeton, which will provide the concrete poured on site and concrete block used to construct the building at a cost of $197,236. Last month, Fabcon was awarded a $263,000 bid for the precast walls of the building. Reliance Electric of Zimmerman was awarded a $170,600 bid to provide the electrical and fire alarm systems, and West Branch Construction was awarded a $77,250 bid to perform the earthwork and site utility work.
Other bids awarded were: $24,906 to A.M.E. Construction of Wayzata for structural steel; $47,780 to Contract Hardware Inc. of Lino Lakes for doors, frames and hardware; $38,815 to Summit Fire Protection for fire protection; $115,300 to Northern Mechanical Contractors of Eagan for plumbing; and $128,500 to Gopher Heating & Sheet Metal of Savage for heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
A number of other improvements were also approved, including the $8,222 change order that will result in an exposed aggregate exterior on the building and the adding of foam insulation between the walls at a cost of $1,753.
The council also planed for the future by allocating an additional $10,075 for duct work in the HVAC system that creates the ability to add zoned heating and cooling. Without the addition, zoned heating and cooling would not be able to be added in the future, representatives from Greystone said.
One improvement not approved by the council was a $2,673 expenditure to add larger windows to the police department portion of the building. Police Investigator Todd Frederick, a member of the building committee, said the windows proposed for the police building were quite small and didn’t do much more than allow light to come in. Adding larger windows would give the building a sense of uniformity with the fire department portion of the building.
“It’s an add-on that makes it look systematic throughout all of the building,” Frederick said.
But Councilmember Dick Dobson made the motion, approved by the council, not to spend money for windows. Three windows at $676 each for the fire department side of the building were also shot down by the council.
The council was also notified that J&S Concrete and Masonry withdrew its bid after originally being awarded the project because it had made a clerical error in its bid.
That came after Greystone project manager Rob Gemelke called J&S and made them aware that its bid appeared suspiciously low. J&S checked its bid and reiterated that it was comfortable with its numbers, Gemelke told the council. But on the day the council was to award the bid to J&S, company officials told Gemelke and Greystone that it was withdrawing its bid.
J&S’s Darryl Sanford confirmed as much in a May 9 letter to the city that the Princeton contractor made a mistake in both its concrete bid and the masonry bid – including missing the north portion of the building’s wall.
City officials estimated the error cost the city about $40,000. For that reason, the council voted unanimously to hold back on returning a $7,500 bid bond that J&S had submitted with its bid.