BELTON — The City Council on Tuesday awarded a $297,035 contract to Architects Design Group of Winter Park, Fla., to design the planned expansion of the city’s public safety building.

The firm will partner with KA Hickman Architects and Interior Designers of Round Rock for the master planning and design of the projected 10,000-square-foot expansion to the Second Avenue facility, which houses the police station and municipal court.

The two firms previously partnered on the Georgetown Public Safety Center.

In a presentation Tuesday, police Chief Gene Ellis said ADG was the top choice of for the selection committee that reviewed the offers of six firms, adding the company is considered a “national expert” in its field.

Funding for the $2.5 million project was set aside in the city’s $6.8 million bond approved last summer.

The council also voted Tuesday to seek a construction manager at-risk to oversee the project, rather than pursue a traditional competitive bid process.

A manager at-risk functions similar to a general contractor and assumes the risk of the project at a contracted price, protecting the city against unforeseen costs, Ellis said.

“When you’re dealing with a renovation, you never know what you’re getting it,” he said. “This provides the city with a little more protection.”

Ellis said he was optimistic construction could begin in six to eight months.

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