San Bernardino County will pay approximately $2.4 million to remodel one floor of an office building for several departments.

When completed, the third floor of 268 Hospitality Lane in San Bernardino will be the new home for the airport, code enforcement, library and parks departments. Code enforcement is currently located at 172 Third St. in San Bernardino and the other three departments operate out of 777 E. Rialto Ave. in San Bernardino.

The county-owned Hospitality Lane building is currently home to the auditor-controller’s office. Loma Linda University had previously rented the third floor of the building, but its lease expired in January.

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Getting the floor ready for the four departments will be pricey.

Renovating the floor requires “the procurement of furniture, fixtures and equipment, painting, and flooring. Completion of this project will allow the County to update and modernize office space used by four departments, thereby meeting the County and Chief Executive Officer goals and objective to improve County government operations,” a staff report prepared for the April 26 meeting of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors reads in part.

Code enforcement is a growing department, according to the staff report, while the other three departments are currently in an aged, though still “serviceable,” building that is “not an ideal long-term location for these departments.”

County supervisors approved $2,420,014, for furniture, fixtures and equipment, painting and flooring at the April 26 meeting. The item was on the board’s consent calendar, meaning the item was approved as part of a group of dozens of actions without discussion.

If that seems like a lot of money, the alternatives to renovating the space were even more expensive, according to county spokesperson David Wert.

“Each alternative for meeting the space needs of these four departments would cost many millions of dollars more than the project that was approved,” he wrote in an email.

Here’s how the math works out, according to Wert:

  • The approved renovation costs about $100 per square foot.
  • Building and outfitting a new building would cost $875 per square foot (a cost of $18.7 million more than the $2.4 million the board approved).
  • Leasing space for the departments would cost about $100,000 a month, and in just two years would match the cost of the approved renovations. Over a 20-year period, a lease could cost $21 million more than the renovations.

Renovation costs could be lower than the $2.4 million approved, according to Wert, as any contracts associated with the remodel would be subject to the public bidding process.

The budgeted $2.4 million breaks down as follows, according to the county:

  • Construction: $638,200
  • Information technology infrastructure: $100,000
  • Relocation costs: $64,900
  • Furniture, fixtures and equipment (including computer equipment): $1,443,800
  • Fees and administrative costs: $109,294
  • Construction contingencies: $63,820

Loma Linda University has used the third floor as a high-capacity call center for 11 years, according to Wert.

“Even without wear and tear, the configurations used for a call center are completely different than what would be needed to suit the needs of four separate county departments and the various levels of staff who will occupy it,” Wert wrote.

The county was not able to provide a comparable remodeling project for comparison’s sake, costs-wise.


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