Design Plus Has Added Edge

February 9, 2007
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GRAND RAPIDS — County commissioners are likely to name Design Plus the architect for the new Kent County Consolidated Human Services Complex, the key component of a $27 million development that will be built on the southeast side of Grand Rapids.

County Administrator and Controller Daryl Delabbio said 16 firms submitted bids for the project. A committee that was formed to direct the development interviewed three of the design firms and selected Design Plus over Fishbeck Thompson Carr & Huber and BETA Design.

“Design Plus, the recommended choice, was the low bidder. Design Plus was about $30,000 lower than the next lowest bid,” said Jon Denhof, county purchasing manager, of the $970,000 bid the firm submitted.

The human services complex will go up on the current site of the Sheldon Complex at 121 Franklin St. SE. The 127,000-square-foot structure will serve as the new home for the Department of Human Services, the Area Community Service Employment and Training group, and the Sheldon Health Clinic, which is operated by the county’s health department.

“We’re going to begin our stakeholders meetings in the next few weeks,” said Robert Mihos, county director of facilities management.

Mihos said a groundbreaking ceremony for the project is tentatively set for January 2008 and the building should be ready for occupancy in June 2009.

The state will lease about 80 percent of the complex for the DHS space. The county is financing the project through a 20-year municipal bond package.

Members of the county Finance Committee voted to award the architectural contract to Design Plus last week. A date hasn’t been set for when the full commission will vote on the award.    

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