Elements restored to plans for new Grosse Pointe City facilities

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 5, 2019

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Some elements of Grosse Pointe City’s new public safety, public works and municipal court buildings have been added back into the project.

Thanks to considerable savings with the project, elements that officials originally hoped to include — such as a plaza outside the new public safety building under construction at the corner of St. Clair Street and Mack Avenue — have been restored to the plan.

David Gassen, a principal with Partners in Architecture, told the City Council Sept. 16 that the project is currently about $850,000 under budget. Because of its design build contract, City Manager Pete Dame said the City will get 60% of any savings and PIA will receive 40% of the savings; that means the City would still save roughly half a million dollars on a project to build new public safety and public works facilities, as well as renovate the current public safety building to house the municipal court.

The memorial plaza, which will be constructed outside the entrance to the public safety building, will include a memorial to fallen officers surrounded by seating, flagpoles, decorative bricks and the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce police dog sculpture, Alger. A bell from the cupola of the original public safety building also will be part of the plaza, said Lauren Lee, a project manager with Partners in Architecture.

“We’re actually going to have it refurbished,” Lee said of the bell, which she said would be placed on a masonry pedestal with a plaque explaining its history.

The memorial plaza is slated to cost no more than $19,343. Dame said the City has an anonymous donor who is willing to give it $10,000 toward the plaza, and anyone else who’d like to donate funds toward it can do so through the City’s nonprofit arm, the City of Grosse Pointe Foundation. Any aspects of the plaza not covered by donations would be paid for out of the capital project fund, Dame said.

The public safety building will have an improved security feature — a card reader instead of key access — and additional lockers in the event of future growth in the department, Lee said. Dame said the City is adding three more lockers for male public safety officers and one more for a female officer; the lockers add about $15,000 to the project cost, but Dame said the coincil was told the cost would be considerably higher per locker to add more in the future.

“It does make sense to fill the locker rooms with available lockers,” Dame said.

Dame said an electronic door access system on the 21 doors in the public safety building is “the biggest hit to savings of the project,” but the additional cost of $51,000 for this security measure is “the most important” aspect of the project that’s being restored.

A small mezzanine above the truck parking area that has been restored to the DPW building will provide what officials say is needed storage space for large water and sewer materials. It will add a little over $40,000 to the project cost, but Dame said funds for this won’t come from the bond money, but will instead come from the water and sewer fund, because the mezzanine will be used exclusively to house water and sewer materials.

Because of this, the items that were restored to the project will add approximately $86,000 in total costs, but the City still anticipates substantial savings overall.

Lee said they hope to see exterior renovations on what will be the new court building completed by early December.

“We want to do that this year,” Lee said.

She said they expect to start the interior court remodeling sometime between May and July 2020, and hope to have the building operational by early August 2020.

The DPW building foundation is slated to go in this fall, and Lee said they hope to have work such as the slab and footings completed by mid-November. Interior finishing work will be done between March and late May 2020, with the goal of moving DPW staff into the building by late May, she said.

As of an Oct. 21 City Council meeting, Public Service Director Pete Randazzo said the public safety building remains on track for an opening in April or May 2020.