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City Hall Ribbon-Cutting & Dedication Ceremony

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 | 5:00 p.m.
7401 Baltimore Avenue
The event will begin promptly at 5:00 p.m. and light refreshments will be served. Free parking will be available at the Downtown College Park Parking Garage during the event.
The ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony will take place outdoors. Please dress appropriately. Guests are encouraged to wear masks and maintain physical distance.
In accordance with current COVID-19 health and safety protocols, masks must be worn indoors by all guests, regardless of vaccination status. By participating in this event, you acknowledge and assume all risks and liabilities including possible exposure to illnesses, including but not limited to COVID-19
[City of College Park]

Council Approves Budget for City Hall Furniture

The City, on behalf of itself and the University of Maryland, issued a Request for Proposals for the furniture that will be required for use at the new City Hall/University Office Building.

Eight bids were received, Price Modern was chosen as the preferred bidder.

The bids did not include pricing for ancillary furniture, such as seating in the Council Chambers, conference room furniture, lobby area furniture, and there are a number of adjustments to the furniture specifications that will have to be made to best adapt the furniture to the built environment, which will result in additional costs.

As a result, continued authorization for up to the full budgeted amount of $2,406,650 is requested for this contract. The actual contract amount for the City will be at or below the $875,672 authorized, with opportunities for cost savings as final selections are made.

The City Council approved the budget at last night’s meeting. The University of Maryland has approved this proposal.

Council Approves Joint City Hall Development Agreement

At this week’s Council meeting, the City Council approved the Joint Development Agreement, Parking Agreement, and the Condominium Documents between the City of College Park and the University of Maryland concerning the City Hall Project. The Joint Development Agreement and Parking Agreement contain the terms necessary for pre-development requirements and construction. The Condominium Documents include the Declaration of Condominium, Condominium Plat, and the By-Laws, and set out how the property will be owned and maintained. Specifically, we will review (a) contributions made by the parties and how the “Initial University Contribution” (“true-up”) and parking payment from the University was determined; (b) the ownership structure once the project is complete; building and plaza costs and each party’s proportional share; and use of the municipal parking garage.

The key joint development agreements include: (a) The UMD will purchase the City property to reduce the City bonding and reflect the use of the redeveloped site. The title of the land will remain with the City. (b) a condominium regime will define the ownership structure with separate components for City / UMD structure and land. (c) The cost of exclusive space plus common area costs is split based on the overall use of the building. (d) The City and the UMD will share 50/50 costs of the plaza, with maintenance provided by the City. (e) All parking will be accommodated in the City garage.

The City cost of this project is approximately $19.6 million. The City will use $12.5 million using the money it borrowed in the fall of 2019 through a bond sale. The City has received approximately $850,000 in State grants, utilized General Fund savings, and will receive funds from the University of Maryland for the land contribution “true-up” ($2.3 million) and use of the municipal parking garage ($0.63 million). Approval of the Joint Development Agreement and Parking Easement provides the legal path for the University of Maryland to pay the City the costs associated with the land “true-up” and for its use of the municipal parking garage, totaling approximately $3M. The City will also use $3.1 million from its reserves.

The $2.33 million credit the City will be getting is due to the fact that the City is contributing more (68% – 32%) lands to the joint development, whereas the UMD will be using more spaces (64% – 36%) in the building (the net ratio is 55%-45% including the shared plaza space). The $0.63 million on parking the UMD will be paying accounts for their staff using 124 parking spaces for $90/space/month over 5 years. This is the payment they are paying to help reduce our initial project cost.

You can read more information about the vote on the agreement here on the Diamondback’s website.

Council to Discuss Joint Development Agreement with the UMD for the City Hall Project

At tonight’s meeting, the City Council will review the approval of the Joint Development Agreement, Parking Agreement, and the Condominium Documents between the City of College Park and the University of Maryland concerning the City Hall Project. The Joint Development

Agreement and Parking Agreement contain the terms necessary for pre-development requirements and construction. The Condominium Documents include the Declaration of Condominium, Condominium Plat, and the By-Laws, and set out how the property will be owned and maintained. Specifically, we will review (a) contributions made by the parties and how the “Initial University Contribution” (“true-up”) and parking payment from the University was determined; (b) the ownership structure once the project is complete; building and plaza costs and each party’s proportional share; and use of the municipal parking garage. The Condominium Declaration is the preliminary version of the agreement because the “as-built” information is required to finalize.

The City cost of this project is approximately $19.6 million. The City will use $12.5 million using the money it borrowed in the fall of 2019 through a bond sale. The City has received approximately $850,000 in State grants, utilized General Fund savings, and will receive funds from the University of Maryland for the land contribution “true-up” ($2.3 million) and use of the municipal parking garage ($0.63 million). Approval of the Joint Development Agreement and Parking Easement provides the legal path for the University of Maryland to pay the City the costs associated with the land “true-up” and for its use of the municipal parking garage, totaling approximately $3M. The City will also use $3.1 million from its Reserves.

Old City Hall Demolition will Start Soon

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will consider approving an amount not to exceed $4,150,530 to authorize the City Hall project site development. The project’s construction firm Davis Construction has provided (see below) a summary of the costs and a description of the work requested to be authorized now. This work has been included in the project cost estimates. The total cost is $4,150,530. Some of the major expenditures are for earthwork, cast-in-place concrete that would require services from companies like https://concrete-repair.co.uk/, the deposit on terra cotta, and submittals and drawings for plumbing and electrical. They also check out sites like knightelectricalinc.com/littleton-co/ for the electrical concerns for the said project.

On December 3, 2019 Council authorized the City Manager to sign change order #1, the removal of the abatement and demolition work from the later construction phase in order to keep on schedule. Demolition will start soon with the help of professional demolition services like Swift Demo. The entire project is anticipated to take 18 months to construct, with site work starting in early March 2020 and substantial completion in August 2021.

The cost of this work has already been included in project estimates and approval of the change order is cost neutral. The cost will be removed from the final construction phase cost. The City’s cost share will be covered by existing budgeted funds or bond proceeds.

Old City Hall to be Demolished Soon

The old City Hall

As the City is moving forward with building a new City Hall, it’s time to take down the old one,

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the Council will consider approving a contract change order in the amount of $534,472 with James G. Davis Construction Corporation for the abatement and demolition of the City Hall site.
Following a competitive RFP process, in February 2019 the City awarded construction management services for the City Hall project to James G. Davis Construction Corporation. Davis has been providing pre-construction services to the project team–preparing estimates, working on schedule development and identifying design solutions that work within the budget. This work has been in anticipation of the construction phase that will include a guaranteed maximum price (GMP) for the construction of the entire building and plaza.
Initially, the project team envisioned the abatement and demolition of the site to be included in the GMP. However, the GMP will not be ready until after the design is finalized in the spring.
In order to keep on schedule, the team is recommending the removal of this work from the construction phase. If Council approves, the abatement work can begin in December with demolition to follow.
Davis has solicited bids and has selected experienced vendors for the required work. The costs are in line with earlier estimates.

All City Hall departments/services have already moved to the temporary new location at 8400 Baltimore Avenue Suite 375, as of of October 14, 2019. City phone numbers and office hours remained the same. For more information about the City Hall project, including further details about the move, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/cityhall.

Council Decides not to Build $400K Water Wall in New City Hall

At last night’s meeting, the City Council decided not to build a $400,000 water wall at the new City Hall plaza.

Design Collective, the architects of the City Hall project, made a presentation about possible design elements to active the City Hall plaza.

Last month, the City Council decided to include a water wall/feature at the plaza as a possible option. This decision allowed the City Hall design team to get necessary permits to put infrastructures for the water feature, should the Council decides to add the water feature at a later time.

At last night’s meeting, a representative from the Design Collective told the Council that the water wall (option 1) would cost $400,000 – which is about $165,000 more than the original estimate they gave us last month. Last month’s estimate was $235,385

The Design Collective recommended the water wall over the Pop Jet/Water Scrim (4 variations) feature.  There are differences in pattern placements, movements, and lighting. Last month, the estimated cost range of these options is between $580,000 and $685,000. The City and the University would have shared the cost among them as part of the plaza development.

Some of my colleagues at the Council had raised concerns about public urination and vandalism at the water feature.

There were also concerns about the frequent maintenance of the water pump and other equipment. For example, the water feature at the Silver Spring plaza had to be replaced due to frequent fountain pumps failure frequently

Personally, though a water wall is an attractive feature, it’s not interactive. Most importantly, a fountain does not represent the unique characteristics of College Park. I was hoping a public art featuring our gorgeous neighborhoods, beautiful trails, the oldest operating airport, lake artemisia, and the talents within State’s flagship University would have been a better choice. I think that could still be a possibility in the future.

The vote was 3-4. Councilmembers Kennedy, Rigg and Day voted yes, whereas Kabir, Brennan, Kujawa, and Dennis voted no.

The current City Hall’s construction cost is estimated at $18.9 million. The City plans to borrow $12.7 million to support the construction budge

Proposed Water Wall in New City Hall may Cost Additional $685,000

At this Tuesday’s meeting, the City Council will vote on a design proposal to add a water feature to the new City Hall, which may cost as high as $685,000.

The current City Hall’s construction cost is estimated at $18.9 million. The City plans to borrow $12.7 million to support the construction budget.

The design plans for City Hall are nearing completion and the Project Manager has advised that if the City desires to include a water feature as part of the public plaza, a decision needs to be made as soon as possible but not later than October 31.

Options for a water feature have been proposed and order of magnitude cost estimates for equipment and installation prepared by Design Collective.

All options add costs to the budget but may offer opportunities for sponsorships. For example, the College Park Rotary may be in a position to pay for a plaza feature in exchange for name recognition. It is not clear at this time how much the Rotary may be willing to spend. Should they decide to sponsor a feature already included in the project budget such as a bus shelter, benches or landscaping, these funds could be applied to the cost of a water feature instead. Options under consideration are:

1. Water Wall – A wall structure is already included in the plaza design. The estimated cost of adding water is $235,385.
2. Pop Jet/Water Scrim (4 variations) – There are differences in pattern placements, movements, and lighting. The estimated cost range of these options is between $580,000 and $685,000

Final Vote on $19 million Borrowing for City Hall and Duvall Field Redevelopment Projects

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will consider a resolution authorizing and empowering the City to issue and sell a series of its general obligation bonds in the original aggregate principal amount not to exceed $19 million. The proceeds of the sale of bonds will be used for the public purpose of financing the new City Hall and Duvall Field renovations.

The bonds are expected to be sold through the solicitation of competitive bids at a public sale, currently scheduled for October 3, 2019.

Council already adopted an ordinance (Ordinance 19-O-11,) on August 13, 2019, authorizing to borrow up to $19 million through bond sale. Tomorrow’s resolution provides further detail of the bond issuance.

If the maximum $19 million of bonds were issued the City will be paying an interest of $1 million annually.

Council to Vote on Borrowing Upto $19M for City Hall & Duvall Field Projects

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will host a public hearing and vote on an ordinance to borrow up to $19 Million for the public purpose of financing a new City Hall and Duvall Field renovations. If approved, the City plans to do this by authorizing and empowering the City to sell and issue, upon its full faith and credit, General Obligation Bonds.

On April 23, 2019 the City Council voted (7-1) to support the construction of a new City Hall building and plaza by limiting the borrowing of no more than $14 million. In addition to the City Hall project, the Council also got an estimate of $5 million to complete the second phase of Duvall Field project (with an option to build an artificial synthetic turf field).

City’s financial consultant is proposing to borrow a loan of up to $14 million for 30 years for the City Hall, and a loan of up to $5 million for 20 years for Duvall Field. For the combined loan of both projects, the yearly debt services cost (aka loan) for both projects is estimated at $1.1 million per year ($755,000 for City Hall and $347,000 for Duvall Field).

The City currently is also paying $560,000 for the parking garage debt service and $420,456 for the vehicle lease debt service. If the City borrows $19 million for both projects, the annual debt services to expenditure (City Budget) ratio will jump from the current 3% to around 9%. It is recommended to keep the ratio below 10%.

Once more accurate costs of both projects are known, the Council plans to take another vote on the bond resolution (to borrow the exact amount at its September 10 meeting.

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