City Hall furniture to cost more than $754K – (registration)

Furnishing the new City Hall at the Glynn Archer School will cost more than $754,500, according to reports released Wednesday in advance of the city commission’s next meeting.

Since 2013, the cost of furnishings for City Hall had been pegged at about $500,000, but the higher price tag isn’t expected to pump up the total cost of the $18.8 million project, Mayor Craig Cates said.

“It’s supposed to be a really good price because of this company,” Cates said of the proposed contract with Herman Miller, Inc. “It’s ADA-compliant. It’s real quality stuff. The new building deserves to have all new furniture.”

The commission is set to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Old City Hall, 510 Greene St., with the item scheduled for a vote. 

Commissioners are meeting Wednesday because Tuesday is World AIDS Day, with the annual candlelight ceremony held every Dec. 1 set for 5 p.m. at the Key West AIDS Memorial at the White Street Pier. A march from Glynn Archer School to the pier will start at 4:30 p.m. 

The City Hall furnishings include bookcases, chairs, desks, a reception desk and a new dais for the commission, a far cry from the interior design of the city’s rented office space at Habana Plaza where many components are made of particle board “in various states of disrepair and deterioration,” architect Bert Bender said.

“It was determined that most of the furniture would not survive a major move,” Bender wrote in a memo attached to the proposed resolution. “And the various sizes made ADA compliance difficult, and in some cases, impossible.”

Bender’s interior designer examined City Hall’s collection of furniture, finding it mismatched and lacking “information technology interface capability required by the ‘state of the art’ program,” he added.

The most reasonable pricing came from Herman Miller, Bender said, for a total $754,599.65.

Among the furnishings planned for purchase are 116 work chairs for nearly $79,000, 212 multipurpose chairs for $85,667, 152 side chairs for $32,842, metal credenzas priced at $1,072 each, wood freestanding bookcases for $933 each and a “task utility light” for $91.39, according to a price list attached to the staff reports. 

The city is saving more than 50 percent of the retail cost, staff reports say, because it can piggyback on state and federal contracts. The proposal that ticks off all the furniture items shows discounts of between 50 and 66 percent. Without the discounts the total furniture haul rang up at $1,738,427, the report shows. 

Cates said the city’s senior construction manager Kreed Howell has already saved more than $200,000 by tapping a state law that eliminates sales tax on building materials. The project’s contingency fund has $500,000, the mayor pointed out. 

“It’s a first-class renovation,” Cates said, adding the new City Hall is being built to last a century. “It was a good investment. I don’t see where we should cut corners now for the furniture.”

Cates said City Hall at Habana Plaza has torn chairs. “I’ve got holes in my chairs and a lot of people’s are like that,” he said. “It’s falling apart.”

The city’s projected completion date is May 6, 2016.


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