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Bids opened for APD facility

Tuesday’s bid opening for the Andalusia Police Department training facility revealed it will cost just under $500,000 to construct the 7,500 square-foot facility.

Chief Wilbur Williams said Wednesday, Amity Construction Inc.’s bid of $464,600 was the lowest of the dozen submitted bids, followed by Enterprise’s Lunsford Construction’s bid of $477,933 and another Montgomery company’s more than $500,000 bid. There were three county contractors who submitted bids.

Williams said officials had arrived at a preliminary estimate of $416,000 for the facility.

“Which is $50,000 more than the cost,” he said. “We did put some variables in the plan and by removing those, it will put us in line and produce an outstanding facility.”

The facility, which will be built on 15 acres owned by the city behind Montezuma Center on Academy Drive, will be used to train local law enforcement officers, as well as officers from smaller departments in the area.

It will have one classroom with a capacity of 85 people, and two smaller classrooms with a capacity of 30 each, as well as offices, restroom facilities and a garage area. There also will be a firing range with 20 pistol lanes and a rifle area and a “shoot” house, used for close-quarters tactical training.

To fund the facility’s construction, the city will use a $259,822 grant for the facility and will finance the remainder through USDA at 4.475 percent interest.

“The interesting thing about this facility is a true investment in the community,” Williams said. “Now, we will have ability to bring more officers which means more revenue for the city.

“Those people have to eat, sleep, buy gas in Covington County,” he said. “That’s a huge incentive in itself. Additionally, we plan to use the facility to develop youth programs such as archery and air gun competitions. There’s space for that.

“There’s also space in the facility and its surrounding area that will allow us to look ahead and develop the area as our need changes,” he said.

Inside, rooms will have sheet-rocked walls, tiled floors and state-of-the art media equipment.

Outside, the fabricated building will feature Andalusia High School colors – red, black and white.

Williams said the Andalusia City Council is expected to award the bid at its next meeting, and once the bid is awarded, the contractor would have 270 days or nine months to complete the project.