The Edmond City Council approved a development contract Monday night for the design of a new three-story, 65,000 square foot city hall building and an accompanying parking garage along Littler Avenue between 1st Street and Main Street.
The city’s design contract with Rees is marked at $1.99 million plus an estimated $148,767.13 for furniture coordination. More than $1.4 million of that money will come from “unexpected revenue” that the city ended not needing to use to payoff prior bonds. The remaining money, $712,400.48, will come from leftover funds from capital investment projects that were completed under their expected budget.
The construction estimate on the city hall project is thought to be around $32.6 million, with $24 million earmarked for city hall, $6 million for the parking garage and $2.6 million for fixtures, furniture and equipment, according to Andy Conyers, Edmond’s assistant city manager of administration.
The city hall building is planned to be constructed at the site of the former Edmond police station, located at 1st Street and Littler Avenue, and it will contain new City Council chambers, a municipal courtroom and other city departments.
Currently, city departments are spread across four buildings downtown, and the new city hall building will consolidate those departments into one building. With city departments vacating those four buildings, the City of Edmond plans to sell those properties.
“The goal is to consolidate into a single building and that means we don’t need all this additional property,” said Edmond City Manager Scot Rigby. “It can be a combination of mixed use, whether it’s residential, office, commercial, retail — as well as put these properties back on the tax roll to be productive pieces of property.”
The new parking garage will be built on the site of the downtown community center, which will be torn down. The parking garage will provide parking space for city employees and additional public parking. The bottom floor of the parking garage will have space for state and county satellite offices.
The design process on the project is estimated to take 11 to 12 months, and construction could take anywhere from 18 to 24 months. However, the city will be using a “construction manager at risk” method, which leaders hope will accelerate the process by allowing the city to hire a general contractor quickly in the design process to complete bids on materials early, and acquire them before the design is complete.
Crest grocery store site plan approved
Councilmembers also approved a site plan application for a Crest grocery store set to be located on the west side of Sooner Road, north of Covell Road.
The city offered an economic incentive to Crest for the grocery store’s construction that will fund public infrastructure needs, including road widening, a traffic light, turning lanes on either side of Sooner Road and sidewalk improvements.
“These are public improvements that we already had planned anyway before Crest was going to come, but since Crest is now coming, we’re going to speed up when we actually put those in,” Conyers said.
Ward 2 Councilman Josh Moore called the grocery store the biggest need within his ward.
“Without a doubt, it’s the No. 1 need in Ward 2, and in specifically the northeast part of Edmond,” Moore said. “The one thing that people want to have close to them and in their daily route is our groceries.”
Upgrades approved at Stephenson Park
The Edmond City Council also approved a $6.5 million contract with Rudy Construction for upgrades at Stephenson Park, which will include a grand pavilion, a new playground surface and equipment, improved sidewalks and a resurfaced basketball court. Additionally, the city plans to repurpose the park’s rocket ship slide into an art piece.
The rocket ship slide — an Edmond favorite — was built more than 50 years ago.
“The rocket ship is not going away. It is being repurposed as an iconic art piece,” Conyers said.
The contract also includes funding to construct a regional underground drainage system for the park, which allows land surrounding the park to share detention runoff within the park, rather than each land parcel having its own individual detention area.
Additionally, there will also be renovations along 4th Street near the park to improve sidewalks, as well as lighting and landscaping down the street.
The approved Stephenson Park contract was about 30 percent over the estimated cost from the design engineer’s estimate at $4.5 million, owing to the rising cost of labor, Conyers said. The city had initially budgeted $4.8 million for the project, but in order to fully fund the upgrades at Stephenson Park, the city also approved a $1.7 million transfer from its slated Service Blake Soccer Complex budget into the Stephenson Park budget.
Construction on the project is estimated to take around 240 days.
Broadband, transportation top priorities in legislative workshop
Earlier Monday, the Edmond City Council conducted a legislative update workshop led by Tyler Powell and Brookes Wright of CSS Partners, the State Capitol advocacy firm retained by the City of Edmond. Powell discussed broadband and transportation, which were highlighted by city officials as key needs, particularly in the largely rural Ward 2.
In May, the Legislature passed a bill creating a state broadband office, with the intent of delivering high-speed internet to 95 percent of Oklahomans by 2028. Mayor Darrell Davis said he wants Edmond to get involved with those conversations.
“We’re looking at developing the east side of Edmond. We know from the pandemic (that) over there is low service,” Davis said. “If the state is looking at it from a statewide look, we want to be a part of that discussion.”
Moore called east Edmond a “broadband desert.”
“I believe it is the answer at the broadband office to work together with the City of Edmond and with our county commissioners, with the state, to plan projects that fill in those gaps for high-speed internet,” Moore said.
Rigby, the city manager, also said transportation is a top priority for city officials.
“This a growing city. Transportation is always on people’s mind,” Rigby said.
Rigby discussed the possibility of a partnership with the state to ease travel on the US-77 and OK-66 highways.
“A lot of people pass through Edmond from other communities,” Rigby said.
City Council approves other agreements
Councilmembers approved agreements with community groups for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, providing more than $1.2 million to more than a dozen organizations:
- Edmond Historical Society Museum: $285,000
- Edmond Family Counseling: $172,500
- HOPE Center: $170,000
- Edmond Mobile Meals: $85,000
- LibertyFest: $80,000
- Ministries of Jesus: $70,000
- Fine Arts Institute of Edmond: $65,000
- Turning Point Ministries: $50,000
- Edmond Public Schools Foundation: $50,000
- Project 66 Food Pantry: $45,000
- U R Special Ministries Inc.: $25,000
- Edmond Historic Preservation Trust: $25,000
- UCO Sports & Recreation (Endeavor Games); $20,000
- YMCA Community Support: $15,000
- Fostering Sweet Dreams Foundation: $15,000
- Lilyfield, Inc.: $15,000
- Edmond Round-Up Club: $7,500
- Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children: $7,500
- Character Council of Edmond: $6,000