TROY — Despite scaling back the renovation and expansion of Hobart Arena, the director of public service and safety Patrick Titterington said city staff will recommend that council move forward with the project and ask for an additional $2.3 million of funding.
Troy City Council will meet as a whole on Tuesday to discuss adding nearly $2.3 million in additional funds on top of the original authorization of $7.35 million for the renovation and expansion project.
According to the committee report, the best and lowest bid was submitted at $9.65 million. The committee meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at City Hall’s basement meeting room.
“We (Mayor, staff, and MSA Architects) spoke to many contractors and vendors, including those who bid, those who took out documents but didn’t bid, and other area contractors we knew,” Titterington said. “We examined the reasons they gave for why the bids came in much higher than expected. We concluded that the economic conditions would not get any better and, due to this late date, would probably be worse, resulting in the same if not higher bids if we rebid the project.”
The report names the best and lowest bidder as Monarch Construction of Cincinnati. The general contractor has completed projects at Wright-Patt Air Force Base, numerous hospitals, parking garages, civic projects and university buildings as well as the contractor for the Vandalia Recreation Center. If the contract is awarded, Monarch estimated it would take 315 days with a completion date at the end of 2016.
“In fact the scope of this project was scaled back three separate times before the project was put out to bid,” Titterington said. “So, the scope was already the bare minimum to make it feasible and reasonable to do the project in the first place. Scaling back any further would, according to staff and our architect, made it not worth doing the renovations.
“It’s difficult to isolate the most expensive parts because the bids were submitted as a lump sum for the base bid and then separate alternates. The project includes physically expanding three sides of the building, including adding a multi-purpose room on the northside, a new ticket lobby on the southside, and additional dressing rooms, restrooms, concession areas, etc. inside the building. The kitchen equipment is also a big component, with the apparent low bidder bidding nearly $480,000.”
City staff and the project’s architect MSA Sport of Cincinnati said several factors increased the project’s cost. Some of those factors, which were listed in the committee report, include an improved economy, increase in project costs at 30-40 percent, uncertain renovation conditions due to the age of the building, aggressive timeline and phasing to allow for arena events to continue, and other public projects being bid at the same time.
“Since bids were much higher than anticipated, our architect had to analyze them to see if any errors occurred by contractors,” Titterington said. City staff met with low bidders to understand what may have caused bids to be higher.
“We wanted to reach out to other bidders, contractors, and vendors to understand what happened in the economy,” he said. “Also, the soils analysis was submitted by our geotechnical engineer after bids were due, so the two apparent low bidders needed to read it and submit any supplemental costs to comply with that analysis.”
The city is requesting the legislation to be designated as an emergency due to the 60 day bid opening guarantee. The bid opening was held Nov. 11, 2015.
For more details about the renovation, visit www.hobartarena.com
Reach Melanie Yingst at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews