Demolition of a portion of Santa Monica City Hall has been delayed indefinitely because the construction company that city staff recommended withdrew its $2.4 million bid.
The Santa Monica City Council was set to approve as a consent calendar item the bid by SKS Construction Incorporated Tuesday, December 14th, but the company withdrew the bid for undisclosed reasons.
“We will need to decide what the next step will be,” said assistant city manager Gordon Anderson.
According to a city staff report, the City Hall east wing, considered non-historic, which formerly housed the Santa Monica Police Department offices, was to be demolished.
“The demolition was proposed to proceed to minimize challenges and liabilities related to the maintenance and security of a vacant building,” the staff report states.
In September last year, the police department relocated to a new $72 million Public Safety Facility on the southeast side of City Hall.
The Santa Monica City Hall was originally built in 1939 as a U-shaped structure.
This historic landmark, which originally housed city staff, police and fire department offices, had a courtyard on the east.
A three-story east wing that enclosed the courtyard in the center was built in 1958 to provide space for an expanding police department, which outgrew the space last year.
Since 1958, additions and renovations to the City Hall south wing have been approved.
The south wing houses City Council chambers.
“I hope we could examine the potential for productive use of at least part of the east wing,” said Councilmember Kevin McKeown.
City staff from the Environmental and Public Works Management Department, city engineer Anthony Antich and city architect Lauren Friedman assessed the cost and construction implications of reusing the east wing versus demolition.
Staff recommendations favored demolition and City Council approved a two-phase demolition plan in December last year.
The plan would “essentially restore City Hall to its original historic configuration and install interim landscape and hardscape elements until a permanent courtyard is designed and developed as part of the future seismic retrofit of City Hall,” the staff report states.
Phase One of the demolition plan involves developing conceptual designs of a temporary courtyard, budgeting and scheduling.
Phase Two involves final design of a temporary courtyard, abatement, permitting and City Hall east wing demolition.
According to a projected city staff schedule, pre-demolition activities such as final design, permitting and abatement would be completed by March or April.
Actual demolition would take place in May and a temporary courtyard would be completed in October.
Placement of a permanent courtyard has not been scheduled because the City Council and city staff have not finalized seismic retrofit plans.
But now the projected schedule is stalled until a demolition contract is sent out for another bid and approved by City Council.
The bid that SKS Construction withdrew was for a Phase Two demolition and temporary courtyard design-build contract.