Friday, February 17, 2012

2nd Ingalls pavilion adds $34K to project's cost

By Tiffeny Owens The Decatur Daily
The $3.6 million publicly funded Ingalls pavilion has been complete for more than two months, but the city is still getting bills.
On Monday, the Decatur City Council will vote on a $34,810 change order submitted by Decatur firm GBW Architects on behalf of Decatur contractor Fite Building Co. The new costs are covered by a $250,000 contingency clause for unforeseen expenses in the contract. However, this latest bill, combined with $37,867 in change orders GBW filed in July, increases the cost of the 27,000-square-foot facility by $72,677.
“This is just a housekeeping item so the builders get paid,” said Tom Chappell, Decatur Parks and Recreation assistant director. “The project is still within its $3.6 million budget.”
The pavilion structure now costs $3,089,204, up from the original contract price of $3,016,527, according to the latest change order dated Jan. 16.
The remaining $510,796, including the rest of the contingency money, was used on the parking lot and landscaping.
“We knew going in there would be some expenses we weren’t sure about,” Chappell said. “That’s why we had the contingency fee. We didn’t want to go back to the council and ask for more than the $3.6 million they already gave us for the project.”
Repaving the access road into the pavilion, a $26,285.96 expense, made up the bulk of the $34,810 change order.
Other costs included installing custom plastic laminate in bathrooms ($742.50), relocating two heaters ($1,977.03) and adding electric circuits and breakers for bathroom hand dryers ($1,406.51).
The city financed the pavilion by borrowing $2 million from its reserves and $1.6 million from the Morgan County Commission’s landfill fund. The Decatur-Morgan County Hospitality Association will repay both loans over a period of 15 years, using revenue raised by its $2-per-night tax on local hotel stays.
When the pavilion was conceived in 2010 to attract more tourism, the city set a budget of $2.4 million to build the structure and a maximum of $2.8 million for the entire project. The first round of bids came over those figures, with the lowest being $450,000 over budget. Designs were scaled down and the project rebid in January 2011.
Since opening in late November, the pavilion has played host to events such as the NAIA women’s soccer tournament welcome dinner and Decatur General Hospital Foundation’s Gala. And bookings for corporate and private events continue to come in, Chappell said. Rental fees go into the city’s general fund.
This spring, the pavilion will host proms for Decatur and Austin high schools and a banquet for the Hartselle High School state championship football team.
The city-owned facility is jointly-managed by the parks and recreation department and the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The council will vote at its 10 a.m. meeting.

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