Since its town hall renovation project came in nearly $4 million over budget, Highland Park officials have stuck their brains together, trying to figure out ways to drop that cost.
On Tuesday afternoon, officials presented a list to councilmembers of “modifications” that, if implemented, would reduce the cost. Ready for some fun?
Upon first glance, there’s a lot of technical stuff that might change: $230,000 cranes, standard in lieu of custom wood moldings, the elimination of a conference room. We’ll get to that stuff. First, though, let’s talk about outdoor patios.
Jump with me, if you want to live:
Scanning through the documents, one specific change jumped out at me, because, I thought, “Sheesh, why is this in there to begin with?” That entry would be “Delete gas line, grill, stainless steel counter and sink at Terrace.” Estimated cost savings? $7,500.
Thinking back, I remembered the conversation. The terrace could be used for DPS officers and HP employees, for cookouts, hobnobs, bing-bongs, and whatever other shindigs they might have. Currently they have a grill on a rooftop, as you’ve seen in the above photo.
Now I realize, in an $18 million project, $7,500 isn’t the greatest sum. But make your own assessment.
As for the rest of the project, here are some of the rest of their proposed cuts, which could tally $1.25 million in savings:
- reallocate fire alarm allowance in electrical package ($175,000)
- take bids on fire alarm in lieu of DIR (Department of Information Resources) pricing ($80,000)
- change quartz countertops to alternate material, except in restrooms ($20,000)
- redesign sally-port gates to standard gates ($5,500) (they were originally going to have HP emblazoned on them, per town administrator Bill Lindley)
- provide ceramic tile wainscot on wet walls/side walls of restrooms, all other walls painted ($15,047)
- Wood material alternates – red oak in lieu of white oak ($250,000) (Ed. note- Is this an entire forest of trees? $250,000 in savings?)
- Standard in lieu of custom wood moldings ($100,000)
- Delete tower crane requirement ($230,000)
That last one, though, brings a whole other cost-benefit analysis. Without the tower crane, the town runs the risk of losing its two old-growth trees in front of town hall. The cost to replace just one of those trees? $50,000.
Check out all the documents for yourself. I made a few notes in the margins during the meeting; hope you don’t mind.