After choosing a Portland firm to design the city’s new fire station, the Pendleton City Council selected the company a block away from city hall to handle construction.
At a workshop Tuesday, the council unanimously agreed to let staff enter into negotiations with McCormack Construction Co. of Pendleton to lead construction on the new station, the centerpiece of a $10 million bond.
This is the first time the city is working under the “construction manager/general contractor” model of development, a process where a contractor is hired during the design process rather than after. Instead of seeking the lowest bidder like other municipal construction projects, each firm is mainly evaluated on their qualifications and experience. City staff said this process would save money by limiting the number of change orders during the project due to the cooperation between the design and construction firms.
According to a city staff report, the five businesses that sent proposals to the city were McCormack; Chervenell Construction of Kennewick; Gerding Builders of Corvallis; Kirby Nagelhout Construction, a Bend company with a Pendleton office; and Wright Brothers, The Building Company of Eagle, Idaho.
A selection team comprised of city staff and representatives from Portland design firm Mackenzie met four times between Oct. 25 and Nov. 7 to discuss and evaluate each company, but struggled to make a final decision between Kirby Nagelhout and McCormack after the pair rose to the top.
Ultimately, the team chose McCormack because its 3.5 percent construction manager fee was 0.1 percent lower than Kirby Nagelhout’s. Its $20,000 monthly estimate for managing and performing the project was lower than Kirby Nagelhout’s $38,000 per month estimate.
“We know that the money can be utilized elsewhere with the fire station and we intend to do that,” said Public Works Director Bob Patterson.
Joseph Hull, McCormack’s director of business development/operations, told the council that his company was “deeply honored” to build a fire station for “our beloved hometown.”
The new station will replace the fire department’s aging facility at 911 S.W. Court Ave. To be located at the old St. Anthony Hospital parking lot site on Southeast Court, the station is set to start construction in 2018 and see completion in 2019.