By the Numbers: City of Bloomington Rejects Bids for Showers West Renovations; Considers Alternate Option

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — February 7, 2024

The City of Bloomington Redevelopment Commission voted on Monday to reject all bids for the proposed renovations of Showers West, a decision that has sparked media inquiries. In response, the city provided detailed background information on the decision-making process.

The Advisory Team, responsible for evaluating bids, considered four options to guide their decision-making process, according to the City of Bloomington. However, it was emphasized that additional options, not explored initially, remain under consideration for the future vision and plan of the Bloomington Police Department (BPD).

Originally conceived during the Hamilton Administration, the plan involved relocating not only the BPD but also several fire projects. The original estimates did not account for the cost of buying out contracts from tenants, and the city will also forfeit projected revenue from tenants in the event of relocation. Plans 2-4 in the overview factor in the cost of buying out contracts and incorporate revenue considerations.

The first option proposes expanding the BPD at its current site, adding an additional 15,000 square feet to the existing 20,000 square feet, accommodating both fire administration and police. The second option suggests constructing a new 35,000 square foot building for BPD and fire administration on a to-be-determined site, with land costs varying depending on ownership. The third option recommends renovating the current BPD site without expanding for fire administration, suggesting a move of the latter to Showers West at an estimated cost of $500,000.

It was clarified that the urgency of the fire projects prompted consideration of all options by the Advisory Team, while the BPD does not currently face a similarly pressing need to relocate. The plans include Fire Station 3, which is in the early stages of design, and cost estimates may fluctuate as plans are further developed.

Chris Ciolli from Weddle Brothers assisted in calculating market rates for construction, and the estimated cost of option 1 relies on figures from Showers construction during the Hamilton administration. Future discussions within the Advisory Team will delve into closing funding gaps, considering major capital projects such as Hopewell and their associated funding needs.

As the city explores alternative options, all possibilities, including those not initially considered, remain on the table for the future development and enhancement of public services.

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