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County administration costs reflect normal part of design process, according to design firm

Recent news reports about the potential cost estimates of a proposed county administration and law enforcement center reflect a normal part of the design process, according to an architect with the Waukee firm in charge of the project.

“In the practice of law, it’s called ‘due diligence.’ It is a logical, thought-out process that goes on with every design project,” said Jerry Purdy of Design Alliance, Inc. “The time to look at all your options is before you start to build something. That’s the process we’re in right now.”

Purdy’s firm has designed a number of public buildings, including the Adel Public Library, Adel City Hall renovation, Dallas County maintenance building in Adel and public safety buildings in Waukee and West Des Moines.

“As you create architecture and solutions to building problems, the process is always the same. You start out with several ideas, you start thinking about how they work together, and decide whether they’re successful in meeting project needs,” Purdy explained. “Then we borrow the best pieces out of those multiple ideas to come up with a workable plan. The budget is one of the things that’s considered.”

Different dollar estimates arise at different points in the process based on various design concepts, Purdy said.

“You can pull out a solution and say, ‘This is going to cost x-number of dollars,’ but then you go to the next step and ask if it is workable within the budget or do we need to go the next step and find another answer. That’s where we are right now,” he said.

Purdy continued, “The numbers always have an ebb and flow. You’re going to see solutions that are higher and considerably lower in the next few weeks as we continue to talk through the design. That allows us to fine tune where we need to be. But, we will be very comfortable that number will work.”

Additional information about the study process and the proposed administrative and law enforcement facility is available at www.dallascountyfuture.com.

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