Southern Strategy Group’s Florida client, Ajax Building Corp. , selected as construction manager of new city hall and police station project.

DADE CITY — City officials are moving closer to breaking ground on a new city hall and police station with Tuesday’s selection of Ajax Building Corp. as construction manager for the $4.75 million project.

The Oldsmar-based firm will be an important part of the design team, overseeing tasks such as budgeting, scheduling, construction reviews and engineering, said Gordon Onderdonk, city public works director.

Ajax, which will be paid $19,750 for preconstruction services, beat out seven other firms vying for the job, Onderdonk said. The company’s experience with public safety and municipal projects gave it an edge, he added.

Bill Byrne, Ajax president, told commissioners his team has analyzed the budget for the project and believes the multi-use facility can be built according to the spending plan. Officials are hoping to avoid going into debt, relying solely on reserve funds and Penny for Pasco sales tax revenues to pay for the building.

“You’re in good shape as we see it now,” said Byrne.

Workers tore down the old city hall in May 2013 after it had been deemed a safety hazard. City employees have been working out of an annex building and the historic train depot. Plans are to build a 21,000-square-foot facility on the southeast block of Meridian and Pasco avenues that will house both city hall and the police department.

Onderdonk said the next phase of the project will be completing preliminary design documents, which should be available for public viewing next month.

He expects construction to start around January and take about one year to complete.

By: Lorie Jewell

Tampa Bay Times