The Town Council awarded a contract to a Delray Beach firm on Tuesday for the construction of the first phase of the Jupiter Municipal Complex, which is a $20 million project.
According to an executive summary submitted to the council by Town Manager Matt Benoit, staff unanimously recommended Kaufman Lynn Construction for construction management services for the project.
“The ranking was striking. There was a clear-cut number one rank,” said Mayor Todd Wodraska during the council meeting. “[It was] a unanimous ranking, which was pleasant to see.”
This first phase of work on the municipal complex will consist of building a new hurricane-hardened police department facility, which will house the town’s IT data center and emergency operations center. Construction of a veterans’ memorial and necessary site improvements also fall under this phase.
Seven firms submitted project proposals to a selection committee made up of Benoit, the assistant town manager, chief of police, chief building official and director of information systems. The committee held a public meeting on June 13 to discuss the proposals and rate the firms.
Kaufman Lynn Construction will oversee the construction of the 36,000-square-foot building, while Song & Associates, who got approval at the April council meeting, will provide the architectural design and engineering services.
Design of the site is almost 30 percent complete and staff plans to provide an update on the project at the August council meeting.
The overall design documents should be done by January and then Kauffman Lynn Construction will determine the price of the construction, which will then be brought back to the town council. If all goes to plan, the construction should be approved by April 2019, said David Brown, Jupiter’s director of utilities.
The project is being expedited so the new facilities can potentially be completed prior to the peak of the 2020 hurricane season, according to the executive summary.
“I appreciate all the work that staff has done to evaluate the work,” said councilman Ilan Kaufer at the meeting. “This is probably … one of the most important capital projects that the Town has embarked upon in the past decade.”
The building that currently houses the police department comes with no guarantees it can withstand some of the strongest hurricane winds, posing concerns such as protecting evidence, records and case files.
One official last year called it “particularly disturbing when the last thing we have to do is cover our electronic equipment with trash bags to avoid any potential water damage.”
The new building will be designed to withstand winds up to 180 mph. It will be constructed next to the town’s community center, not far from the current town hall on Military Trail near Indiantown Road.
A later phase of the plan calls for a 48,000-square-foot town hall, a multi-level parking garage, an athletics building and school parking accommodations.