THE PROCESS OF PURCHASING FURNITURE, FIXTURES, AND EQUIPMENT FOR NEW CITY FACILITIES
We have received some questions regarding the purchase and process of obtaining furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E) for the new City Hall and Library. Due to those questions we have provided a detailed description of the procurement process.
FF&E Budget History
On May 20, 2014, the City Council approved the Space Needs Assessment and Facilities Master Plan by Wiginton Hooker Jeffry Architects and Hidell & Associates. Under the Space Needs Assessment and Master Plan for Proposition 1 (City Hall/Library), several options were proposed for the new facility, along with proposed costs. Option A-1 was established for 53,000 square feet, which was in line with the current design. The FF&E budget was $1,125,000.00 or $21 per square foot. Once the architect was selected by the City, the design of the City Hall/Library increased to 55,100 square feet (current design). The FF&E budget was adjusted to $1,125,954.00 or $20 per square feet.
The 100% construction documents were completed in December of 2016 for the facility and the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) was approved by City Council in December of 2016. The FF&E budget remained the same.
The City publicly bid the project on February 7, 2018 and Workspace Solutions, Inc. was the only bid submitted for the FF&E contract. The bid totaled $1,036,278.84, which was $89,675.17 under budget.
FF&E Purchase Contract Approved By City Council
On March 7, 2018, the City Council approved a purchase contract to Workspace Solutions for the purchase and installation of furniture for our new 55,100 square foot City Hall and Library. The bid totaled $1,036,278.84, which was $89,675.17 under budget. As part of the purchase contract approval, the City Council instructed the City Manager to evaluate the bid and reduce it by 10-20%.
On March, 20, 2018, the City Council approved a change order to reduce the purchase of the furniture for the new City Hall and Library by $113,335.06, or 10.8%. This was in line with direction provided the City Council at the March 7th meeting.
FF&E Design Services Contract
In June of 2017, Workspace Solutions was selected to assist with the furniture design of the Public Safety Building and City Hall/Library. The City received three quotes for the design services, with Workspace Solutions offering the lowest and most responsible bid.
Workspace Solutions met with city departments and staff on numerous occasions to understand the specific needs of the facility. Key staff members from each department provided input as to what type of furniture would be functional in different areas of the building. For example, the needs of the Buda Public Library are different from the needs of the Engineering Department.
Items were selected based on affordability and durability. The type of furniture chosen is commercial grade, and is designed to last for 20 years. The longevity of the furniture is especially important in the public spaces of the building, including the library and lobby. Antimicrobial fabric was selected to ensure products are clean, sanitary, and durable.
The City was tasked with furnishing a 55,100 square foot building. To put that into perspective, the current City Hall, City Annex, and Buda Public Library have a combined square footage of approximately 19,100.
The new City Hall has a number of FF&E needs, including the following:
- Office furniture for Parks and Recreation Department, Finance Department, Planning and Engineering Department, and City Administrative Offices
- Furnishings for the lobby, including seating and tables
- Furnishings for the Emergency Operations Center, including work tables and chairs
- Furnishings for the City Council Chambers
The new Buda Public Library has a number of FF&E needs, including the following:
- Furnishings for the program room, including tables and chairs
- Furnishings for the crafts room, including tables and chairs
- Furnishings for the Makerspace Lab, including tables and chairs
- Office furniture for the Administrative Offices
- Modular office furniture (cubicles) for the open office space
- Furnishings for the break room and work room
- Conference room table and chairs
- Furnishings for the study rooms, including tables and chairs
- Seating for library patrons
- New Circulation Desk
- Additional shelving to hold the expanded Library selection
During the selection process, cost was consistently evaluated to stay within the allocated budget. Furniture chosen for the City Hall and Library was in the mid-price range. The goal was to ensure that the furniture in the public and administrative spaces was affordable, functional, and durable.
The city will reuse the furniture that it can from current facilities. It will be distributed to other city offices, including the Public Works Department, Tourism Department, and Main Street Program.
The furniture below will be reused in the new City Hall and Library:
- Engineering conference room table and chairs
- Library conference room chairs
- All metal filing cabinets
- City Council guest chairs will be reupholstered and reused in staff offices
- City Council dais chairs
- City Annex refrigerator and small appliances
- Five television monitors
While Workspace Solutions was selected to assist with the design, state law required the city to formally bid the furniture purchase to allow other companies to competitively bid on the project.
The project went to bid on February 7, 2018, and closed on February 23, 2018. Twenty companies downloaded the plans. Workspace Solutions was the only bid submitted for the FF&E contract.
The city received governmental pricing for the furniture which is approximately half of the retail cost.
Once the bid was reviewed and the city evaluated alternatives, staff made the recommendation to City Council on March 7, 2018.
The same process was followed for the FF&E contract for the Public Safety Building. The project went to bid on August 16, 2017, and closed on August 24, 2017. Nine companies downloaded the plans, but Workplace Solutions was the only bid submitted for the FF&E contract. The City Council unanimously approved the FF&E contract for the Public Safety Building on September 5, 2017.
This brings us full circle to March 7, 2018 when the City Council approved a purchase contract to Workspace Solutions for the purchase and install of furniture for the new City Hall and Library.
The bid totaled $1,036,278.84, which was $89,675.17 under budget. As part of the purchase contract approval, the City Council instructed the City Manager to evaluate the bid and reduce it by 10-20%.
Below are the reductions that were made:
- Eliminated 4 chairs/table of public seating
- Eliminated 3 staff tables, 6 chairs in council chamber
- Eliminated two modular offices at Parks and Recreation area (may be purchased in the future when needed for additional staff)
- Eliminated a table, four chairs in staff break room
- Eliminated Engineering conference table
- Eliminated table and two chairs in Finance
- Eliminated hospitality cart in Finance
- Eliminated one modular office
- Eliminated the sit stand desks and table
- Eliminated side chair and side table in City Managers office
- Eliminated glass board in Assistant City Manager offices
- Eliminated six chairs in study rooms
- Eliminated one chair in quiet reading room
- Eliminated one table/two chairs in Jr’s area
- Eliminated one table and five chairs in Makerspace Lab
- Eliminated three desks and shelving in back work room
- Eliminated two lounge chairs in break room
- Eliminated large triangular pouf chair in Jr’s area
Staff presented Council with a reduction of $115,000.48 at the March 20th council meeting. The acceptance was amended to add back a table and two chairs in the library, which reduced the savings to $113,335.06. This resulted in a revised FF&E cost of $922,943.78, down from $1,036,278.84.
Now that the purchase contract with Workspace Solutions has been approved by City Council, the order will be placed and the furniture will be manufactured and shipped. Once the manufacturer reviews and accepts the order, the manufacturing usually takes four to eight weeks. Once the order has been manufactured, shipping takes three to five days. When the orders start to arrive, installation of all FF&E will take about four weeks to complete.
The purchasing process can be tedious, but it is necessary to ensure that the city is receiving the most affordable and professional services available.
The City is in the process of determining move-in dates and the announcement of the grand opening.