Police and fire facility site demolition and earthwork scheduled for August

T-R PHOTO By MIKE DONAHEY A sign designating the future home of the city’s police and fire headquarters in the 900 block of South Second Street is shown. To the left is the former Knights of Columbus Hall and property, purchased earlier this year by the city. The buildings are scheduled to be demolished in August.

A project many years in the making might see the first spade of dirt turned in less than two months.

It is the joint police and fire station project in the 900 block of South Second Street.

Jim Classe of Prochaska & Associates told the Times-Republican demolition of the Knights of Columbus Hall and earthwork might take place Aug. 7 through 14.

Bids for the building, which will be shared by the police and departments, are tentatively expected to be received Sept. 19, with the city council possibly selecting a contractor the following week.

It is estimated the building will be ready for occupancy December, 2018.


Marshalltown voters approved the joint facility in August last year, 2,273 yes to 1,215 no.

Yes votes equaled 65.17 percent to 34.83 percent no.

Importantly, the affirmative votes easily exceeded the 60 percent “super-majority” required by Iowa law for passage, necessitated by the city’s reliance on borrowing a not to exceed amount of $17.5 million to finance the project.

Prochaska & Associates of Omaha, Neb. was hired by the city council in 2017 to design the complex, and Story Construction of Ames hired earlier this year as project managers.

The firms have been working together closely to get the project ready for bid.

‘Production phase’

While tentative demolition and earth-moving dates have been set, Prochaska & Associates staff have a lot of work to do before equipment shows up on site.

Architect Don Prochaska said the project is in what architects call the “production” or “development of construction documents” phase.

“It is the development of what was traditionally called ‘blueprints,’ and specifications said Prochaska. “After all the efforts went into the conceptualization, schematic design, the site selection, the design development, user (police and fire personnel) interviews … it is a lengthy process, said Prochaska. “We are in the home stretch in terms of development of contract documents … in our industry contract documents are both the drawings and specification booklets … they look like a big, thick phonebook. It outlines in detail the exact requirements in terms of the pieces and parts which make up the joint facility.”

Prochaska said the project is in a “quiet period” while staff take care of business.

“We have a lot of work to do,” said Prochaska.

Project expenditures

To date the city has spent $500,000 to purchase the 6.44-acre “Old Econo Foods” property from the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA, and $165,000 to purchase adjoining acreage from the Knights of Columbus,

Yet to be spent is construction of the joint facility estimated at $10,980,806.

Other costs include architectural and engineering fees of $1,166,500, traffic signal installation at $247,000 and dispatch equipment for the 911 center at $684,950.

Additionally, the council unanimously approved a resolution for professional services with Story Construction Co. for $858,000.

That company will supervise construction among other tasks.

“However, we expect to save money in the long run using a construction manager format,” said Marshalltown Public Works Director Justin Nickel. “The city had significant success employing construction managers on the Marshalltown Public Library and the Carnegie Building remodeling project.”