EDMOND — City council members voted to spend $865,000 plus closing costs for a building at 1273 N Broadway to house information technology employees now in separate buildings.
The 6,200-square-foot building at the southwest corner of Danforth Road and Broadway will be finished before 15 city employees move in.
The cost for the land and unfinished building was $735,000, but construction costs to get the unfinished building ready to occupy increased the price.
“I know the cost keeps going up,” said Assistant City Manager Steve Commons.
“Part of the cost is for a vault to protect our servers. The current facility is not as protected as it should be. We take that serious. The building will withstand a major event, and the servers will be protected.”
The money to buy the building will come from the real property fund, interest on the $7 million hospital trust fund established in the 1980s when Edmond sold its community hospital, which is now OU Medical Center Edmond.
Construction is expected to last nine to 12 weeks. Employees are expected to move in around Feb. 1.
A large portion of the information technology department is now located in the administration building that will be torn down to make way for the new public safety center.
“As we consider office space needs for the department, we are interested in finding a more permanent solution for their operations,” Commons said. “Because of special electrical and network connectivity needed for this office group, we were hoping to avoid the expense of moving this operation twice.”
In related action, at least 50 employees in the utility customer service and finance department, which includes purchasing, payroll, treasury, accounting staff and human resources, will be moved from the administration building at 100 E First St. to rented downtown space.
Council members also voted to spend nearly $20,000 a month to rent work space for those employees.
The first monthly lease payment with Spearman Investments for offices at 7 N Broadway will include $360,000 for tenant improvements. The lease is for five years, ending in December 2017.
The lease property, called the Hargrove Building, will provide 13,000 square feet of office space that has readily accessible public parking, storefront-type visibility and convenient access for utility customer service and a convenient location to the city's downtown campus, Commons said.