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Estimates for police station climb to $3M
McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton.

An effort to keep construction costs for a new McMinnville Police Department at $2 million is unrealistic. 

McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton says he had a meeting with AEI president Peter Metts and a realistic estimate is $3 million, but that’s only possible if the size of the project is reduced to 15,000 square feet and the cost held to $200 per square foot.

“Originally we had the project at 18,000 square feet,” said Denton. “A lot of that was space to grow. We looked at it with him, preliminarily, and we think we can go with 15,000 square feet. If we reduce the footprint, hopefully we can reduce the cost and it will still be what we need. The original estimate of $2 million … well, that’s not going to do it. I don’t know what the price would be. We are hoping to keep it under $200 per square foot.”

Denton added that an estimate of $2 million was given in 2014 and the rising cost of construction over the past five years is why that number is unrealistic now as an estimate.

That information was presented before members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen when members considered a resolution to authorize an agreement with AEI Architects, Engineers and Planners to prepare plans, specifications, and bid documents for the construction of a new precinct atop a hill overlooking Pepper Branch Park.  

According to the contract, architect’s fees will be 5 percent of construction cost. At $3 million, the cost for AEI’s services would be $150,000. 

Once the construction budget has been identified as final, the fee will be recalculated and submitted to the city for approval. If approved, the fee amount will be considered fixed. 

Officials unanimously approved hiring AEI on Tuesday night.