The city council Tuesday heard a proposal by Brinkley Sargent Architects to build a joint facility to house both city and county operations at a cost of $21 million.
The proposal included furniture, phones, audio visual equipment and other amenities needed for operation.
The three-story building will measure 54,934 square feet. It will have 95 outdoor public parking spaces, including 105 staff parking spaces, with 7,200 square feet of covered parking at $54 per square feet. Councilman Kenn Smith questioned the need for the covered parking costing $388,800.
“I don’t see why we need that. I have an umbrella,” Smith said. “Twenty-one million dollars and some change is a lot to ask of our residents and we need to trim it down.”
Denny Bowles of Brinkley Sargent Architects said if the facility is not built now, the costs will continue to climb due to a 4-6 percent inflation rate. He estimated costs will jump to $22 million in 2015 and continue jumping $1 million annually through 2018.
The proposed building size is based on 2013 Cove population figures of 50,000, which Bowles estimated to grow to 72,000 by 2020 and 80,000 by 2030 and current Coryell County population figures of 21,000 to 27,000 by 2020 and 28,000 by 2030. The figures show Copperas Cove is growing at a much faster rate than the rest of the county.
According to the proposal, the city will be 26,000 square feet short of the space needed to operate and the county will be 8,400 square feet short by next year. It stated current council facilities are in poor condition as is the county building, both failing to meet energy codes and provide adequate security.
If a complex is built to house only city operations and not include county needs, the price drops to $16 million and the size of the building would decrease to 40,500 square feet.
In other business, three council members were sworn into office, including Marty Smith, who replaces Danny Palmer for Place 4, and returning council members Gary Kent and Kenn Smith.