City of Grandview Heights: May start likely for schematic design phase of municipal complex

Alan Froman
ThisWeek group
The city of Grandview Heights will hire a team of consultants to assist with the schematic design for the municipal complex it plans to build at the southeast corner of Goodale Boulevard and Grandview Avenue. The city's Spaces and Places plan adopted in 2019 identified the corner as the preferred site for a new municipal complex that would include administrative offices, council chambers, the police department and a new fire station.

The city of Grandview Heights is in negotiation with a team of firms that will provide schematic-design and fit-planning services for the municipal-complex project planned for the southeast corner of Goodale Boulevard and Grandview Avenue.

The team, which includes architectural, engineering and cost-estimator firms, was one of the groups of consultants that responded to the city's advertisement in March for a request for qualifications for the project, said P'Elizabeth Koelker, the city's director of planning and community development.

Each team submitted its qualifications as a collective entity, she said.

"We shortlisted the field down to four finalists and interviewed them on April 13, and we've now identified the team we plan to work with," Koelker said. "We're engaged in discussions with the team to work out the scope and budget of their services, and we're looking to get that finalized and kick the project off in mid-May."

City Council approved legislation in March, authorizing the city to appropriate funds to contract with firms to provide consulting services for the schematic-design and fit-planning process.

The corner of Goodale and Grandview was identified in the city's 2019 Spaces and Places plan as the preferred site for a new municipal complex to replace the building at 1016 Grandview Ave., which houses the city's administrative offices, council chambers, police department and fire station.

The relocation of the city's service and building-and-zoning offices to a site just outside Grandview on McKinley Avenue freed up the Goodale and Grandview site to be redeveloped into the new municipal-complex site, Mayor Greta Kearns said.

P'Elizabeth Koelker

"We've been in the due-diligence and planning stage for getting that project underway," she said. 

CTL Engineering completed a site evaluation of the property at Goodale and Grandview at the end of last year, Koelker said.

"They found no major problems at the site, no contamination. It's been cleaned up over the years," she said. "That allows us to move forward with the next step."

"We had to make sure it is a site that can handle a 24-hour-a-day operation," Kearns said. "We wouldn't be able to take the building offline for a minute."

The fit-planning process "is predesign work; it's not the actual architectural design," Koelker said.

The team hired by Grandview will work with city officials to determine the scope of the facility and its components that will fit on the Goodale/Grandview site, how to provide proper ingress and egress for emergency vehicles operating out of the site, the parking the site will require and the potential cost for constructing a new municipal complex on the site, she said.

The team also will work with the city to determine a short-term interim use for the current municipal-building site at the top of the hill on Grandview Avenue.

"Rather than just having that building sitting vacant or being boarded up after we move to the new site down the hill, we want to find some sort of interim use where it can remain active" while the city studies what long-term future use of the site might be, Koelker said.

The process of determining the long-term use of the top-of-the-hill site wouldn't begin until after the new municipal complex is built and occupied, she said.

The long-term plan for the site would be a contiguous use with Wyman Woods, which is adjacent to the current municipal building, Koelker said.

Over the next few weeks, the city will plan a schedule and format for public meetings that will be held to getting residents' feedback about potential short-term interim uses for the top-of-the-hill site, she said.

Residents also will be asked for their input on the planning process for the new municipal complex, Koelker said.

"We're trying to figure out the best way to hold these meetings under the current COVID conditions," she said. "With the weather turning warmer, it might be we could arrange to hold some meetings outdoors."

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