City of Kent to spend $300K for expansion of maintenance shops

New modular building to go up on property

An example of a modular building.

An example of a modular building.

The city of Kent will spend $300,328 on a new modular building to help with overcrowding at the maintenance shops along Russell Road.

“It’s going to provide needed space,” said Alex Ackley, city superintendent of parks facilities, at the City Council’s Parks and Human Services Committee meeting in October. “We’ve all heard the conversations through the studies that we’ve had at the city about space, and shops is one of the areas that is hurting.”

The new building will add 1,440 square feet of office space to house about 12 employees in the sewer and storm division. Funds will come from the Public Works storm division budget. The maintenance shop houses about 180 public works and parks employees and provides storage for city vehicles and other items.

Oregon-based Modern Building Systems, Inc., will prepare the site and install the modular building on city park property next to the maintenance shops, which sit just north of Hogan Park at Russell Road. Modern Building Systems submitted the only bid to the city. The City Council approved the contract on Tuesday.

“I wish I could say we had a lot of bids,” Ackley said. “I do feel really fortunate we did get somebody to bid this. This type of work is very popular in the schools so we found out there was no chance to get it done in the spring (2018). I feel very fortunate we are in a position to get it done this winter.”

When the city put the project out to bid in May, it received no responses.

“We felt it was timing that they were busy doing school projects,” Ackley said. “We put the bid back out in September and received the one bid.”

A modular building will last about 20 years or even longer if maintained well, Ackley said. As part of its bid, Modern Building Systems described how modular units are factory built and allow construction to occur during any season.

Over the last couple of years, the city spent about $57,000 on consultants to study expansion of the Russell Road facility and a small East Hill shop due to the need for more space for employees.

The city had planned to build a new maintenance shop many years ago at property the city owns on the East Hill near Southeast 248th Street before city leaders dropped the plans because of the high costs and other needs in Kent.

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