Homework

Read this blog post to see some of the research that has gone into this project over the past several years.

One of the comments we are hearing is that “you haven’t really thought this project through.” People are saying that without complete engineering, bids and scheduled programming, we are putting the cart before the horse. People are saying that it’s impossible to vote for a project when they don’t know everything about it.

First, let me say that if politicians worked this way, life would be so much easier.

We have actually done our homework. We have vetted our costs. We have completed as much preliminary engineering as possible. And maybe we haven’t talked to you personally, but we’re willing to. Really. We’ve tried to meet with groups and make ourselves available. Email us … call us. Flag us down on the street. Subscribe to this blog. Visit our website and Facebook page. We want to make sure you know what we are proposing.

So what do we know?

One of the first things that happens with any project that involves infrastructure (water/sewer/parking/roads) and bricks and mortar (buildings) is that you develop probable opinions of cost. These are relatively vague numbers and really just include rough estimates – like an average cost to install parking is $600 a space. We meet, we talk with the engineers, we go back and forth. We say things like, “We don’t want the fields to be lit. We want the parking lot lights to be lower. We want the exterior of the building to match the character of our city and not look like a warehouse.”  

Costs are adjusted.  Now we are getting to the good stuff.

Without a doubt, final engineering is not complete. And, in a way, this project provides a good example for WHY you wait. Final engineering is not complete until you are ready to issue bids for construction. If final engineering were completed for the property located behind Kroger, it would have been much harder, if not impossible, to change locations on such short notice.  

What research have we completed?

Spicer Group has performed preliminary design for all the outdoor athletic facilities – including cost estimates. We have recent bids for similar facilities so we can see what actual construction bids are looking like for comparable elements of the project like ball diamonds, soccer fields, parking lots.  

Gilmour Construction actually worked with us to get prices – pre-bid prices and estimates – for every element of the building project.

Our cost estimates are sound. They are dependent on the facility and amenities provided,  not necessarily the location. If anything, the fact that we are not obligated to construct a portion of roadway may help with our final costs.

We’ll get you the information you need to make an informed decision for the August 7 vote

If you would like to know more about our cost estimates, the way in which probable opinions of cost are created, or any other information, leave us a comment on this blog or send us a private message on our Facebook site.

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2 Responses to Homework

  1. Gordon Culver says:

    Perhaps I haven’t read the right articles or been the right meeting, but cost is only a small part of the planning of any building project. It appears that you have done a significant amount of work to secure the funds necessary to start a project like this, which I am sure was time consuming, frustrating and fulfilling. What about the cost to maintain the facility, though? Can the facility make enough profit to pay the management company and maintain it’s fields? If so, how many tournaments will be run in order to gain the revenue to sustain this facility in a year? Are we talking a tournament every other weekend or are we talking softball, soccer and basketball tournaments every weekend? Is there a traffic study that shows that the roads you want to use can handle the flows of traffic that this facility will require? How much noise will the tournament crowds be creating, understanding that there are no speaker systems in the complex there is still the noise that the fans will make cheering. Is that going to be constantly disruption from dawn until dusk to the neighboring homes? Where do the uses for this facility stop? Every time the site is discussed there seems to be a new use for it. If it is a sports facility then that is one thing with specific issues to address. If it is a community center that is another and what kind of programs might you offer to the residents. If it is a convention center that is entirely different and has other issues. While the new site reduces some of the neighborhood concerns, I think those are the questions that I and others haven’t heard answers for, that bring the cart before the horse kind of statements.

    • Muth Rec Center says:

      I think these are all good questions. And we really do appreciate that you’re asking them – because it lets us know we need to do a better job in getting the information out there. (We’ll do some web updates on some of your issues – but we’re also scheduling some meetings with the public – conversation is so much easier in person). We were trying to schedule meeting space at the BPAC and we hope to have a couple of dates soon (hopefully this weekend).

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