College Station taxpayer savings on Fire Station #7

4,564 Views | 45 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by SAC4311
Bob Yancy
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https://wtaw.com/college-station-city-council-awards-a-design-contract-for-the-citys-next-fire-station/?

Thanks to WTAW's Bill Oliver for covering this story. Ultimate savings on Fire Station #7 will likely equate to approximately $2 million in 3 areas:

First, an existing design was used that firefighters were able to tour to ensure the facility would meet their mission parameters. This saved significant architectural design fees as compared to a design from scratch.

Secondly, by identifying a more optimal location and listing for sale the original site, the anticipated capital gain will offset the purchase price.

Thirdly, by identifying a new exhaust capture system that improves the technology but costs the taxpayers less.

Finally, the project is on track to come in significantly less than the $18m taxpayers approved overwhelmingly in the last bond election.
AggiePhil
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AG
Across from CG2 on Greens Prairie, right?
maroon barchetta
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Y'all are taking credit on savings for the design?

Just use the design for station #6. It's not old. And as I recall was only about $6 million at that time.

Please tell me there is nothing wrong with the design of station #6 that they can't just use that layout.

Also, save on the cost of a Food Network show quality commercial kitchen. If they are going to continue to drive all the trucks to HEB on a Saturday morning to grocery shop, but then also park all the trucks at Fuego or Coco Loco so they can buy breakfast, maybe they don't really need a kitchen that costs more than my house. A couple of microwaves and a hot plate will do. Maybe an air fryer and a toaster oven. I'll personally throw in an Instant Pot.

Let's not pat ourselves on the back for savings until it's done. And claiming victory on design savings is silly, unless y'all paid too much for a design that isn't really appropriate for station #6.
Stupe
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S
I agree.

It's ridiculous that people that live at their work place have the audacity to cook AND the desire to go out and eat from time to time. Instead of going out, they should just have a kitchenette. Two microwaves and a hot plate should be plenty for 10-12 people to eat three meals a day.



It would also be a good idea if they left the fire trucks and ambulances at the station and drove their own vehicles to the store, Fuego, or Los Cucos. It's not that far and really shouldn't delay a response time.
Station 5 is right down the road from Whataburger, HEB, Taco Bell, and Freddy's.
Someone at the station probably has a suburban or minivan. They should take that and put a temporary light on top in case they have to hurry back to the station for a call.

Public servants should focus on the SERVANT part and forget about being comfortable at work.

maroon barchetta has just made one of the greatest and most well informed posts in the history of the board.

Edit: I forgot to give a giant HUZZAH! to your post.
Stupe
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S
Quote:

Just use the design for station #6. It's not old. And as I recall was only about $6 million at that time.

Please tell me there is nothing wrong with the design of station #6 that they can't just use that layout.
Thank you for this. I never realized that all buildings are cookie cutter and are not impacted by available land and road access.

I want to give a heartfelt thank you for this part of your post. It's refreshing to learn new things at the start of a new day. I appreciate it so much that I wanted to give it its own quote.
doubledog
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Bob, this is a step in the right direction... Frankly I think, your fellow council members will find a way to make this one, another Taj Mahal. I await to see if common sense will rule the day.
trouble
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AG
I nearly choked on my coffee
maroon barchetta
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Did Stupe say something?

I put him on ignore last year when he and one other poster couldn't stop with their constant bickering like an old married couple.
Stupe
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S
Sure you did. That's why you've replied to me in other threads.
trouble
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AG
Duuuuuuuuude, we know you can still see his name if he's blocked.

And you probably clicked on it to read the post
happyinBCS
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WOW
I could say a few thigs but best I don't.
maroon barchetta
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trouble said:

Duuuuuuuuude, we know you can still see his name if he's blocked.

And you probably clicked on it to read the post


I can see his name. I'm not reading his post though.

This thread seems as tone deaf to me as the Instagram prop thread. This fire station is needed but it's looking to be three times the cost of the last one.

How about we wait until the project is done and see how much it ended up costing?

Projected costs and final costs are rarely the same thing.
Bob Yancy
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Well, the city takes the slings and arrows when mistakes are made, and rightfully so. That's accountability. I just figured I'd pass on some facts when your city hall gets it right.

Respectfully

-yancy
Bob Yancy
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doubledog said:

Bob, this is a step in the right direction... Frankly I think, your fellow council members will find a way to make this one another Taj Mahal. I await to see if common sense will rule the day.


Thank you. They won't. We have our design now. Have a great weekend!
befitter
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maroon barchetta said:

Y'all are taking credit on savings for the design?

Just use the design for station #6. It's not old. And as I recall was only about $6 million at that time.

Please tell me there is nothing wrong with the design of station #6 that they can't just use that layout.

Also, save on the cost of a Food Network show quality commercial kitchen. If they are going to continue to drive all the trucks to HEB on a Saturday morning to grocery shop, but then also park all the trucks at Fuego or Coco Loco so they can buy breakfast, maybe they don't really need a kitchen that costs more than my house. A couple of microwaves and a hot plate will do. Maybe an air fryer and a toaster oven. I'll personally throw in an Instant Pot.

Let's not pat ourselves on the back for savings until it's done. And claiming victory on design savings is silly, unless y'all paid too much for a design that isn't really appropriate for station #6.
No doubt these men and women would show up at your house if it's on fire regardless of your post.
maroon barchetta
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Bob Yancy said:

Well, the city takes the slings and arrows when mistakes are made, and rightfully so. That's accountability. I just figured I'd pass on some facts when your city hall gets it right.

Respectfully

-yancy


Let's see how it worked out when the project is done before we order catering and a ticker tape parade through downtown (Bryan).
Bob Yancy
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maroon barchetta said:

Bob Yancy said:

Well, the city takes the slings and arrows when mistakes are made, and rightfully so. That's accountability. I just figured I'd pass on some facts when your city hall gets it right.

Respectfully

-yancy


Let's see how it worked out when the project is done before we order catering and a ticker tape parade through downtown (Bryan).


I'm sure there will be a groundbreaking and ribbon cutting when she opens. No ticker tape parade though. That'd be ostentatious. :-)

I'm not sure why you seem upset. I'm simply pointing out that voters approved this (a supermajority as I recall) and it's likely to cost less than reported. I would think some good news on your Saturday morning would be a good thing.
maroon barchetta
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Because the project isn't over. You can't claim savings until then.

Even a small remodel project at home will have fluctuations in cost. This large project most certainly will have a final total different than projected.

Post a scan of the final cost when the project is complete. If it's under, I'll send you and the council a cookie cake.
maroon barchetta
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befitter said:

maroon barchetta said:

Y'all are taking credit on savings for the design?

Just use the design for station #6. It's not old. And as I recall was only about $6 million at that time.

Please tell me there is nothing wrong with the design of station #6 that they can't just use that layout.

Also, save on the cost of a Food Network show quality commercial kitchen. If they are going to continue to drive all the trucks to HEB on a Saturday morning to grocery shop, but then also park all the trucks at Fuego or Coco Loco so they can buy breakfast, maybe they don't really need a kitchen that costs more than my house. A couple of microwaves and a hot plate will do. Maybe an air fryer and a toaster oven. I'll personally throw in an Instant Pot.

Let's not pat ourselves on the back for savings until it's done. And claiming victory on design savings is silly, unless y'all paid too much for a design that isn't really appropriate for station #6.
No doubt these men and women would show up at your house if it's on fire regardless of your post.


After they save my house, if my kitchen is intact, I'll teach them how to make breakfast tacos at home.
Bob Yancy
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maroon barchetta said:

Because the project isn't over. You can't claim savings until then.

Even a small remodel project at home will have fluctuations in cost. This large project most certainly will have a final total different than projected.

Post a scan of the final cost when the project is complete. If it's under, I'll send you and the council a cookie cake.


Well, no matter what happens, you saved approximately $1m on design. That was formalized last council when we approved the discounted design fee.

I'm going to sign off now. I'll hang up and listen. Have a wonderful weekend, all.

Respectfully,

-yancy
MeKnowNot
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Bob Yancy said:

maroon barchetta said:

Because the project isn't over. You can't claim savings until then.

Even a small remodel project at home will have fluctuations in cost. This large project most certainly will have a final total different than projected.

Post a scan of the final cost when the project is complete. If it's under, I'll send you and the council a cookie cake.


Well, no matter what happens, you saved approximately $1m on design. That was formalized last council when we approved the discounted design fee.

I'm going to sign off now. I'll hang up and listen. Have a wonderful weekend, all.

Respectfully,

-yancy

Since they are using a pre-existing design, did anyone do a geotechnical survey of the land that they plan to build it on to confirm that the foundation will meet the site specific conditions?

This should be a given, but since they missed it on another recent project I thought I would ask the question.



Dufflepud
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maroon barchetta said:

Let's not pat ourselves on the back for savings until it's done.
This. Enron tended to do this in spades and Arthur Anderson just went along for the ride.
maroon barchetta
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MeKnowNot said:

Bob Yancy said:

maroon barchetta said:

Because the project isn't over. You can't claim savings until then.

Even a small remodel project at home will have fluctuations in cost. This large project most certainly will have a final total different than projected.

Post a scan of the final cost when the project is complete. If it's under, I'll send you and the council a cookie cake.


Well, no matter what happens, you saved approximately $1m on design. That was formalized last council when we approved the discounted design fee.

I'm going to sign off now. I'll hang up and listen. Have a wonderful weekend, all.

Respectfully,

-yancy

Since they are using a pre-existing design, did anyone do a geotechnical survey of the land that they plan to build it on to confirm that the foundation will meet the site specific conditions?

This should be a given, but since they missed it on another recent project I thought I would ask the question.






Fair question.
Stucco
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This is great. Thanks for the effort and info Bob! I really appreciate your engagement here.
Bob Yancy
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Stucco said:

This is great. Thanks for the effort and info Bob! I really appreciate your engagement here.


Thank you! Very much!
Stupe
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S
Stucco said:

This is great. Thanks for the effort and info Bob! I really appreciate your engagement here.
Same here.

You continue to show up even though there are posters that always find something negative to say.
Bob Yancy
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maroon barchetta said:

MeKnowNot said:

Bob Yancy said:

maroon barchetta said:

Because the project isn't over. You can't claim savings until then.

Even a small remodel project at home will have fluctuations in cost. This large project most certainly will have a final total different than projected.

Post a scan of the final cost when the project is complete. If it's under, I'll send you and the council a cookie cake.


Well, no matter what happens, you saved approximately $1m on design. That was formalized last council when we approved the discounted design fee.

I'm going to sign off now. I'll hang up and listen. Have a wonderful weekend, all.

Respectfully,

-yancy

Since they are using a pre-existing design, did anyone do a geotechnical survey of the land that they plan to build it on to confirm that the foundation will meet the site specific conditions?

This should be a given, but since they missed it on another recent project I thought I would ask the question.






Fair question.


The contractor did indeed do a geotechnical survey on SE park. A review of the grid pattern of bore drillings shows they missed the problem area almost entirely, and the one they did do in the poor soils region they essentially wrote off to seasonal moisture in their write up to city staff. Lessons were learned. We won't repeat the mistake. Not excusing it but these things do unfortunately occur. Recall that CoB found a buried roadway at Midtown they had to remediate that everyone had forgotten was there. Again, not making excuses. It doesn't set well with me, I give you my word.

Respectfully,

-yancy
Hornbeck
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Do a comparison between the VFD stations vs Bryan vs College Station. Saving money how exactly?

Kinda like Nancy Berry said she cut property taxes 20% as commish.
PS3D
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I was in Houston today and by pure happenstance (I was trying to visit a bookstore next door) I came across the Cy-Fair fire station they had cloned the design of.

https://www.google.com/maps/@29.8488683,-95.6731481,3a,75y,142.72h,83.78t/data=!3m8!1e1!3m6!1sXQXXWVqwH7AnPbHKa6_-PQ!2e0!5s20220501T000000!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-pa.googleapis.com%2Fv1%2Fthumbnail%3Fpanoid%3DXQXXWVqwH7AnPbHKa6_-PQ%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D104.2314%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i16384!8i8192?entry=ttu
maroon barchetta
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Cool.

Firm designs fire station. Sees it get built and put into use.

Another city asks firm to design new fire station.

Change some info in the title block. Slap some new dates on it. Charge for "new" set of plans.

Something like that?
doubledog
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maroon barchetta said:

Cool.

Firm designs fire station. Sees it get built and put into use.

Another city asks firm to design new fire station.

Change some info in the title block. Slap some new dates on it. Charge for "new" set of plans.

Something like that?
The CoCS design is the mirror image of the CyFair Station, so the design frim had to reach up to the menu and pull down to "mirror image". FYI Saving $ on design, when we should be saving $$$.

Bob looks like y'all need to drive the 80 odd miles to 17821 Kieth Harrow Blvd in Houston and check it out.

techno-ag
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AG
Thank you Mr. Yancy for being willing to get on here and take some of those "slings and arrows" for the city.

Over the many years I've been here I assign a weight system to posts, with negative ones weighed the least substantive. There is unfortunately always someone with a negative take in every thread. Pay them the least attention for that is usually what they seek.

Again, kudos sir and thank you.
Bob Yancy
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doubledog said:

maroon barchetta said:

Cool.

Firm designs fire station. Sees it get built and put into use.

Another city asks firm to design new fire station.

Change some info in the title block. Slap some new dates on it. Charge for "new" set of plans.

Something like that?
The CoCS design is the mirror image of the CyFair Station, so the design frim had to reach up to the menu and pull down to "mirror image". FYI Saving $ on design, when we should be saving $$$.

Bob looks like y'all need to drive the 80 odd miles to 17821 Kieth Harrow Blvd in Houston and check it out.




City staff visited this location. The design has been tweaked through numerous revisions and this one represents the latest iteration. Even when duplicating a design there are site specific architectural and engineering efforts that have to be completed. Just estimating, design and engineering for a completely new design (which prior councils have always done, to my knowledge) would have been ~$2.3 million. We spent just under a million, authorized in the last meeting.

It's still costs too much for municipalities to build and it gnaws at me. I previously suggested we hire a city architect with a handful of staff to design our facilities of all types. You could invest in one heck of a design and engineering department for the money we pay and save taxpayer bosses a suitcase full of money in the process. I'm not done pursuing that idea.

Right now I've got to work within the rules of the game we play, and all municipalities are playing the same game- not just us. Within that rule book, saving a couple million on this fire station is a good get, I think.

I hope y'all agree.

Respectfully,

-yancy
PS3D
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doubledog said:

maroon barchetta said:

Cool.

Firm designs fire station. Sees it get built and put into use.

Another city asks firm to design new fire station.

Change some info in the title block. Slap some new dates on it. Charge for "new" set of plans.

Something like that?
The CoCS design is the mirror image of the CyFair Station, so the design frim had to reach up to the menu and pull down to "mirror image". FYI Saving $ on design, when we should be saving $$$.

Bob looks like y'all need to drive the 80 odd miles to 17821 Kieth Harrow Blvd in Houston and check it out.




17819 Kieth Harrow, actually.

I can understand the backlash against FD6's design, but I also remember from that thread back then about "suggesting" the smallest, simple-looking, ugliest station they could find.
Bob Yancy
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techno-ag said:

Thank you Mr. Yancy for being willing to get on here and take some of those "slings and arrows" for the city.

Over the many years I've been here I assign a weight system to posts, with negative ones weighed the least substantive. There is unfortunately always someone with a negative take in every thread. Pay them the least attention for that is usually what they seek.

Again, kudos sir and thank you.


Thanks for the kind words. We can always hope and push for civility and objectivity, but we're never going to get it 100% of the time. Maybe one day when government gets more efficient, we'll get closer. I get frustrated too, trust me.

Respectfully,

-yancy
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