Published March 23rd, 2016
MOFD Unveils Station 43 Construction Costs
By Nick Marnell
Rendering courtesy MOFD
The Moraga-Orinda Fire District last week presented a detailed estimate of the $4.5 million cost to reconstruct fire station 43 in north Orinda.
The district divided the estimate into two sections: the preconstruction phase, including "soft" costs, of nearly $1 million; and the construction phase, including costs for the temporary facility, demolition and site work, of $3.5 million.
"We are hearing construction costs that are pushing $750 a square foot," said Fire Chief Stephen Healy. "We have to build to a higher standard than a house, and we have to pay prevailing wages on a public project." In 2005, the district built fire station 44 in Orinda for $2.3 million.
The two largest components of the preconstruction phase include more than $400,000 for Shaw Kawasaki Architects, and nearly $200,000 for a project manager. "I've received four proposals, and I will recommend a project manager at the April 6 board meeting," said Healy. MOFD paid over $100,000 in construction management costs prior to the cessation of the station 43 project during the station 46 negotiations.
For the construction phase, Healy warned that the $200,000 estimate for temporary living facilities for the station 43 crew may rise. The district purchased a double-wide mobile home from the Monterey Regional Fire District, which used the home as temporary quarters during station construction in the Carmel Valley. "They want it out of there now, because their construction is complete," said the chief. "It will require two moves. One from Carmel, and then another from temporary storage at station 41, which will increase the moving charge."
The district will separate the contracts for site demolition and station construction. "If we have a contract that says demolition in August and September with construction to start in October, and they find a problem during demolition, we'd be bound by that October contract," said Healy. "A delay in construction could turn into a claim, which would be the worst that could happen."
The chief, while conceding the stress of juggling such concurrent timelines, estimated the station construction will be completed by September 2017.

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