Lawrence City Commission approves $3M contract as part of municipal services campus, estimated at $133M

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Lawrence city commissioners on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve a $3 million agreement with Dake Wells Architecture for design and construction phase services for a new Municipal Services and Operations campus.

Construction of the campus — a project that has been on the city’s horizon for several years — is now estimated to cost $133 million total.

It’s “a multi-phase project to relocate divisions within the Municipal Services & Operations Department to a consolidated campus at the City-owned Farmland property,” the meeting agenda summarizes.

“The project initially consisted of four phases but has been reduced to two phases to further consolidate MSO divisions and reduce the duration of the project,” according to the agenda item.

Melissa Sieben, director of MSO, told commissioners that staff members are working in outdated facilities that are undersized, not up to city codes, not up to the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act and inefficient in numerous ways. The facilities also are not in line with stormwater standards, she said.

Under the agreement commissioners approved Tuesday, Dake Wells will prepare construction documents for the $55 million Phase 1 of the project.

The whole campus could be complete in mid-2027, Arlen Kleinsorge, of McCownGordon Construction, told the commission.

“I hope our community understands that this is not just about workplace efficiencies and capacity efficiencies,” Commissioner Amber Sellers said. “This is related to growth of a community, and for our ability to sell ourselves to companies as that we have the infrastructure in place to do business. So for me, this is a cost benefit for our residents, for our business partners, for our region.”

See the complete agenda item at this link.

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Mackenzie Clark (she/her), reporter/founder of The Lawrence Times, can be reached at mclark (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com. Read more of her work for the Times here. Check out her staff bio here.

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Kaw Valley Almanac for April 22-28, 2024

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