The Palmview city council appointed a Corpus Christi-based architectural firm to look into the possibility of a multipurpose facility for the city.
During a Tuesday special meeting, Palmview council members approved engaging with Gignac Architects to study the needs assessment of the city.
“Our primary focus was the fire station and the repairs needed there, but we also had a few discussions about potentially doing a multipurpose facility that housed the city administration office, the police department and fire station, EMS and municipal court,” city manager Michael Leo told the council. “We want to hear from architects and see if they meet what we’re looking for.”
Leo explained to the council that the purpose of the presentation was to hear a statement of qualifications from Gignac Architects before the council decides if they want to move forward with them in providing a needs assessment for the city.
“Before even starting with a design of what we want, we need to have someone look at what we have,” Leo said. “We know we need new facilities but we need someone telling us what these new facilities should be and the size we need and go from there. From that assessment they can tell us how much that will cost.”
The nearly 20 minute long presentation from Gignac Architects was led by its founder, Raymond Gignac, who informed the board that his company was responsible for constructing more than 600 public buildings across the state over the last 30 years.
Locally, Gignac Constructions was the architect behind the McAllen Convention Center, the La Joya ISD Police Station and even designed a police station for the city of Peñitas that the city didn’t move forward with.
“We’d be willing to work with the budgets that a city like Palmview can afford since we are familiar with the budgets of south Texas,” Gignac said. “You need to assess what you have, what you need, and what is the state of your facilities and then ask yourself if you want to invest in this or look at another option. We won’t know the answer to those questions until after we do the assessment for you.”
Gignac told the board he didn’t have an estimate of a new building available as he hadn’t received any current information on the city facilities.
However, the city is in need of a new fire station after issues with mold forced Fire Station #1-next to city hall-to close last fall.
The board voted 3-2 to approve commencing the assessment plan after Mayor Pro-Tem Linda Sarabia expressed satisfaction with Gignac Architect’s qualifications.
Council members Jose Perez and Anthony Uresti were the dissenting votes after expressing hesitation at the potential cost of the assessment.
“We’re a small community, we haven’t had the chance to do a project this big before but if the price is too high just for a needs assessment when we haven’t talked to other architects about this so we don’t know what else is out there,” Perez said. “We should be number driven. I’m pretty sure there’s other firms that have the same qualifications.”
A fee for the assessment will be negotiated between Gignac Architects, Leo and Palmview City Attorney Eric Flores which will be presented for approval of the council within two weeks, Leo said.