Rosemont will spend more than $600,000 to redesign its proposed new public safety department headquarters after a dispatching agency backed out of the project due to escalating costs.
The village board Monday agreed to pay $686,400 to FGM Architects to draw up new blueprints for the building, which was scheduled to have broken ground in late August until NORCOMM Public Safety Communications withdrew.
"Almost every page of the drawings touched the NORCOMM space," said Mayor Brad Stephens. "It's going to be costly."
Village officials are negotiating with the dispatch agency to get reimbursed for some of the extra design costs, Stephens said. A formal agreement could be considered by the village board at the next meeting in November.
So far, the village has spent more than $2.5 million on architectural design fees since inking its original agreement with FGM in April 2019.
NORCOMM would have taken up 19,000 square feet of the proposed one-story, 101,000-square-foot building situated between Lyndon Avenue and Barry Street north of an Allstate Arena parking lot.
All in, cost estimates were upward of $45 million, but without the dispatch center, the price should be closer to $35 million, Stephens said.
NORCOMM officials were involved in all planning and design meetings, requesting certain features for the new building, including special electrical, heating and cooling systems and tornado proofing.
But they backed out after construction cost estimates rose by 40%, mostly due to the pricing and availability of materials, Stephens said.
Officials at the dispatch agency, which fields 911 calls for Rosemont and 16 other police and fire departments, told Stephens that they're dealing with many of the same pandemic-related effects that other businesses are, including the inability to hire more employees and having to pay steep overtime for current workers.
The new public safety headquarters is expected to include a shooting range, apparatus bays and training space equipped with video technology for "shoot/don't shoot" scenarios. It would essentially double the size of the department's current headquarters, which operates on several floors of village hall at 9501 W. Devon Ave.
Architects are first working on new drawings for footings and foundations, in hopes that ground could still be broken this year. But much of the timing depends on when the village could get precast building panels, which is taking some builders more than a year, Stephens said.
"I don't want to start this thing, then put it on the shelf for eight months," he said.
Once construction begins, it could take 12 to 16 months to complete.