March 11, 2020

Peculiar Public Works Facility earns APWA chapter award for Project of the Year

The City of Peculiar’s new Public Works/Utilities Maintenance Facility recently earned recognition as the Public Works Project of the Year for Small Cities and Rural Communities. The award, granted in February by the American Public Works Association Kansas City Chapter, recognizes the new and modernized base of operations for staff and equipment.

The facility provided proper protection to prolong the life of the city’s maintenance vehicle and equipment fleet, which also recently underwent modernization. The 8,400-square-foot facility includes six equipment and vehicle bays, a workshop, storage, locker room, offices and administrative support. An attached 4,800-square-foot covered parking and storage structure offers additional bays for plows, trailers, dump trucks, flat beds and other vehicles. The new facility improves functionality, efficiency and work environment for core municipal services for the town of 5,300 residents.

Efficient use of resources

After reviewing three site locations in search of adequate space, the City of Peculiar negotiated the purchase of 14 acres from the local school district, 5 of which were dedicated to the maintenance facility and 9 of which were designated for parks land. The 14-acre site was designed with future stormwater needs and future recreational use in mind.

Value engineering and strategic negotiations helped the City of Peculiar overcome challenges with area utility providers, thus saving time and money. To keep the project within budget, city staff self-performed some of the construction work, like fencing, electrical and interior finishes. As part of the overall project, the city and county worked together to complete long overdue road improvements that helped the project advance and literally paved the way for future adjacent development.

Focus on functionality pays off

In the first full fiscal year after the facility opened, the City of Peculiar Public Works department was short-staffed. Nevertheless, 11,765 work orders were completed from the new base of operations. Essentially, the department accomplished more work with less staff.

As Bartlett & West teamed with WSKF Architects on this project, their considerations included site access, facility layout, and benchmarking insights on best practices for public works facilities design. The new Peculiar Public Works/Utilities Maintenance Facility is a testament to how thoughtful design can significantly impact operational efficiency.


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