NEWBURY — A plan to build a new police station on Morgan Avenue is on target to go out to bid by month’s end. But voters may need to approve more funding this fall if everything recommended for the facility is to be included.

The estimated cost would be about $550 per square foot based on recent bid results for a new police station in Merrimac. The bids, received this spring, ranged from $550 to $615 per square foot.

The Municipal Building Committee has received the necessary permits from the Planning Board and Conservation Commission, with selectmen waiving all building permit fees for the project.

“The actual building permit will be secured by the successful bidder,” committee member Bob Connors said Thursday.

Newbury’s project is structured with a base bid, which covers all construction costs needed to obtain a certificate of occupancy — along with alternate bid items to be treated as upgrades. The optional items include vinyl siding vs. wood clapboard; loam and seeding vs full landscaping; hot top vs granite for curbing; and the inclusion of an elevator, exterior painting, flagpole and signs.

While the committee recommends including all of the alternate items, it remains mindful of the $6.5 million budget, Connors said.

“We can’t control the bids, but we can control the selection process,” he said. Once the bids come in, selectmen will make final decisions on alternate bid items if the total bid exceeds the project budget.

Should bids come in higher than what voters funded for the work three years ago, Connors anticipates selectmen would add an article to a Special Town Meeting warrant later this fall to consider funding the alternate bid items.

According to a “schedule of probable costs,” dated Friday, construction costs for the 9,511-square-foot facility are an estimated $5,231,050 with a communication tower listed for approximately $100,000.

Estimated soft costs include architectural and engineering fees, $620,000; reimbursable expenses, $7,500; tel/data/security consultant, $20,000; and communications tower design, $4,000.

Professional services are listed as the owner project manager and clerk of the works, $233,000; mechanical, electrical, and plumbing commissioning, $30,000; and construction testing, $30,000.

Under the category “fixtures, furnishings and equipment” — also known as FFEs — furnishings and equipment, including hard drive storage, would cost $155,000; an allowance for computer equipment and network, $250,000; and an allowance for a telephone system and equipment, $50,000.

Related project costs include printing bid sets and advertising, $5,000; moving expenses, $10,000; and utility fees and back charges. Project contingencies, which were over $600,000 when the committee began its work, have now been reduced to $261,553, or 5% .

Connors predicted in June that contingency fees would drop dramatically as the panel closed out construction drawings just before the bidding process.

Total estimated project costs, which were as high as $7,829,390 this spring, have been reduced to $7,042,103.

“The committee has made every effort to value engineer the size of the facility to meet the current needs and future needs of our Police Department for the next 20 years,” Connors said.

He notes that “about $500,000.00 is for contingency and allowances for tasks and services not yet contracted. The committee anticipates several of these line items to be reduced as ‘owner supplied’ vendors and services are finalized,” Connors said.

Following a resounding defeat by voters at Town Meeting and the polls last fall for a proposed $12 million, 18,000-square-foot, multiuse building at 25 High Road designed to address space and program needs for police and Town Hall, town officials decided to move forward with a scaled-down project using $6.5 million funded three years ago.

Construction is targeted to begin in November and require 12 to 13 months and a final commissioning prior to occupancy.

The committee’s meetings are typically held on the first and third Fridays of the month at 7 a.m. in the Town Office, 12 Kent Way.

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