Saturday, May 18, 2024

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ACC trustees approve preliminary designs for two more bond projects

Alamance Community College trustees voted unanimously, 10-0, this week to approve the preliminary design plans for two projects that are financed by the $39.6 million bond package voters approved for ACC in November 2018.

ACC’s trustees voted Monday night to approve preliminary design plans for a Public Safety Training Center planned in Green Level.

The overall construction budget for the Public Safety Training Center totals $13.7 million and includes: $6 million to build a classroom/office building; $5.6 million for site work; $2.1 million to build a a three-story, four-level burn building; a fire tower; a driving pad for emergency vehicles; and a covered pavilion.

Brad Lockwood, who is a principal architect with Moseley Architects in Raleigh and the designer for ACC’s Public Safety Training Center and other renovations, told the trustees Monday night that the $5.6 million indoor firing range is an alternate, or an additional item that is not in the current contract but would be completed if funding is available. The indoor firing range would span 13,910-square feet and have 12 individual lanes for target practice.

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The Public Safety Training Center will have one entrance along Sandy Cross Road, Lockwood said. He confirmed for The Alamance News Monday night that the entrance from Sandy Cross Road will be the only access point to the site.

The project is scheduled to go out for bid this summer, following a required review of construction documents by the State Construction Office, which is a division of the state Department of Administration that’s responsible for overseeing the planning, design, and construction for public building projects in North Carolina. Construction of the Public Safety Training Center is currently targeted to begin this fall, Lockwood told ACC’s trustees Monday night.

Lockwood said that Samet, which has been hired as the construction manager at- risk for the project, is confident that up to $262,888 in cost savings can be achieved once bidding begins on the Public Safety Training Center. The construction delivery method (also termed “CMR”) that ACC selected for the Public Safety Training Center requires the contractor to finish on time and within a guaranteed maximum price, in keeping with a provision in a state law that governs construction contracts for local units of state government, including community colleges.

The current estimated $13.7 million cost for the Public Safety Training Center is predicated on an August 2, 2023 bid date, with construction starting in September, Lockwood said Monday night.

“This project is slightly over budget right now,” the architect acknowledged. “But working with the CMR, Samet, this delta is not concerning.”

ACC’s trustees also voted 10-0 to approve the design plans for $4.1 million in renovations to parts of the Main, Powell, and Gee buildings on the Graham campus.

The Main Building, which opened in the mid-1970s, will receive $3.1 million in renovations to approximately 20,717 square feet, which includes several classrooms, computer labs, an academic skills center, childcare center, and several offices and storage areas. The architect said Monday night that the primary purpose for renovating the Main Building is to improve the quality of classrooms, bring them up to current building codes, and improve acoustics.

The Powell Building will receive a $473,687 facelift for 3,290 square feet of space vacated by the biotechnology program, which is moving to the new Biotechnology Center of Excellence near the corner of Jimmie Kerr Road.

The Powell Building will be renovated in order to expand ACC’s nursing program, currently housed on the second floor of the building, Lockwood explained.

Lockwood said he foresees the possibility that some costs savings could be achieved during the construction, leaving a “potential budget surplus of $141,869.”

The Powell Building, named in honor of Alamance County’s Powell families and their work in the fields of health and science, opened in October 2007 on the Graham campus and currently houses ACC’s allied health and biotechnology programs.

The Gee Building renovation is also included as an alternate, Lockwood said Monday night, characterizing that aspect of the project as a “light touch” update.

“This would be very light touch [updates] – finishes, carpet, things like that,” Lockwood explained.

Depending upon the availability of funds, 11,015 square feet would be used for one of two possible alternates: updating two classrooms (estimated at $160,749.68) or updating an administrative suite (estimated at $288,519.84) on the ground floor in the Gee Building, Lockwood told the trustees.

The 50,000-square foot, three -story Gee Building opened in 2006 and was named in honor of ACC board of trustees’ charter member Wallace Gee. The Gee Building houses the college’s administration; student services; financial services; library; classrooms; and the Scott Family Collection, honoring Kerr and Robert Scott, two past N.C. governors who were from Alamance County.

The estimated cost of $4.1 million for the Main, Powell, and Gee Building renovations are predicated on an August 2023 bid opening and construction beginning then, the architect explained.

“There’s a high likelihood we might be able to get one of the alternates into the project, but if any of you are paying attention to the construction market, things are up in the air,” Lockwood added.

ACC trustees Mark Gordon and Sylvia Muñoz were absent from the meeting Monday night.

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