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.