The Lonsdale City Council checked off another box in the planning process for a new police station at its Thursday meeting.

After interviewing construction firms, the council unanimously approved Wold Architects to provide architectural and planning services for the police station.

Wold was previously selected as the architect for the proposed Lonsdale City Hall expansion project in 2018. The company has developed new police stations in Alexandria, Lakeville and Cottage Grove; a police station and city hall in New Hope; and police station and city hall renovations and expansions in Burnsville, Richfield and Sartell.

Other contractors considered for the job included BKV, 292 DesignGroup and Oleson + Hobbie Architects. The City Council interviewed three of the four candidates during a special meeting June 18 and arranged to interview Oleson + Hobbie before Thursday’s regular meeting.

The planned police station will be a 6,000-square-foot building, and the design candidates provided in their proposals a master plan for future additions, such as a city hall, library and spaces for public use. The city negotiated a purchase agreement earlier this year for two parcels at the 15th Avenue NE and Commerce Drive SE intersection.

In reviewing the architect’s proposals and interviews, City Administrator Joel Erickson broke down the project costs the candidates estimated. Based on a $1.6 million project, Wold’s total cost would be $103,500 — the lowest cost of the interviewed candidates. BVK’s total cost was $113,800, not including 3D renderings at $750 per view, and 292’s cost was $126,700. Oleson + Hobbie’s total cost was $109,000.

Apart from having the lowest bid, Erickson called Wold the candidate with the most experience for the position.

Councilor Kevin Kodada pegged Wold as a strong candidate because most of its services, if not all, are in house. Councilor Cindy Furrer agreed, “Everything in house is a key piece.”

Lack of space is a primary concern for the current police station, located at 115 Alabama Street SE. The seven officers and one administrative staff member utilize rooms that should be delegated to work tasks for storage, eating and changing into uniforms as a result of the tight quarters.

During Wold’s interview, architect John McNamara told the City Council the project should portray a positive image of the Lonsdale community, present a safe space, include vehicle storage and provide enough space for handling evidence.

McNamara said the city’s proposed schedule would allow for the project to be bid in October with construction beginning in November. According to Wold’s proposed project schedule, occupancy of the police station will happen in July 2021.

Reporter Misty Schwab can be reached at 507-333-3135. Follow her on Twitter @APGmisty. ©Copyright 2020 APG Media of Southern Minnesota. All rights reserved.

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