Shawnee hires J.E. Dunn for pre-construction services on new community center

This photo from the feasibility study shows the site as it exists today. Some grading issues would impact the layout of the community center.

Shawnee has hired J.E. Dunn Construction to handle pre-construction services for a new community center.

The council decided in a 7-1 vote to hire J.E. Dunn for pre-construction services for the new community center. Councilmember Mike Kemmling cast the dissenting vote. Kemmling has voted against every measure to advance plans for the new community center. He has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

The proposed contract with J.E. Dunn, totaling $45,296 for Phase 1 pre-construction services, includes costs for bonds, insurance, technology, construction management fee and staff costs during construction, according to a Nov. 13 city memo. J.E. Dunn Construction was selected based on estimated construction costs as well as experience and ability.

Hiring J.E. Dunn is one of several steps the city has taken since the Aug. 7 council committee meeting, during which council directed staff to “prepare information necessary to help residents to make a decision about the possibility of funding a proposed community center,” according to a Nov. 13 city memo.

Shawnee has already hired Perkins + Will — the same company that designed the new Merriam Community Center currently under construction — to provide architectural services for Phase 1. Additionally, the city hired Project Advocates as the owner’s representative, for phases 1 and 2, totaling $415,000.

“We are thrilled to be a part of this community-focused project lending our advisory expertise in design and construction to the benefit of Shawnee and surrounding communities,” said Radd Way, principal and leader of Project Advocates’ Kansas City operation, in a statement Nov. 12. “We can assure the best value and facility are achieved for all stakeholders involved.”

Project Advocates will guide the city in objectives related to the project’s time, cost, quality and risk, according to a company press release.

Staff estimated in October that the total cost of Phase I services is $347,000. Broken down, here are the numbers:

  1. Architectural services with Perkins+Will for $99,000 (the city hired in October)
  2. Owner’s representative services with Project Advocates for $73,000 (the city hired in October)
  3. Construction manager’s pre-construction services are estimated at $75,000 (now about $29,000 less than anticipated with J.E. Dunn)
  4. The Johnson County Election Office estimated a mail-in ballot election in spring 2019 to cost about $100,000.

Funding for the community center project thus far is unbudgeted and will be paid from city’s the general fund, according to the city memo. If voters approve the community center project, Shawnee can reimburse itself for these upfront costs through general obligation bonds. Otherwise, the city can absorb the costs through reserves in 2019 and 2020.