Culpepper Park concession stand project going for bids again

The Daleville City Council tabled business on a Culpepper Park concession stand project until updated specifications and bid lists are sent out for bids for a second time during its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 4.

The council unanimously rejected bids for the project during its May 8 regular meeting. The lowest bid received for the project totaled $296,590.55.

During the council’s work session on June 3, Joe Donofro, with Donofro Architects, spoke with the council about possible ways to reduce the price of the project.

The city has been discussing a two-story concession stand project since 2016, when the council was first told the price of the project had risen from $250,000-$275,000 to $429,283.

Discussions started again in October 2018, after Stayton presented the council with a single-story concession stand design. Council members also asked if a design for a two-story concession stand and quotes for both designs could be given to the council.

The council tabled this item of business in October and November 2018. In December 2018, Civil Southeast Engineering Group then visited the council to show some building features available and cost estimates for building both a one-story, estimated to be around $350,000, and a two-story concession stand, estimated to be around $450,000.

Stayton then suggested that the city could cut costs by doing some of the project itself.

In a December 2018 meeting, the council voted to authorize Stayton to start the process to have plans drawn for a new, two-story concession building.

During a Jan. 14 work session, Stayton presented preliminary plans for a new, two-story concession stand to the council, who discussed the aesthetic look of the building, its position to look at fields, the placement of stairs and more. The council voted to create specifications for the project on Jan. 15.

On April 15, Stayton presented the final plans to the council that included stairs inside the building, a smaller office, windows “on both sides” to “see all ball fields from anywhere in the building” and more.

The city council has budgeted $150,000 for the project.

“I found out the hard way that subcontractors and general contractors are slammed right now, and building supply houses get pretty much what they want,” Donofro said during the June 3 work session, stating that costs to build even residential buildings have increased in the past couple of years. “That’s literally what we’re facing in the building economy right now.”

He said his company “pulled out a few things” from the project the city could possibly complete itself, such as demolition, sodding and grass repair, laying the sidewalks outside the concession stand and painting work. Alternatives for design materials for the building and air conditioning systems were also considered in the project list.

“We did what we felt like we could do on the building before it bid, and it came in at $296,000,” he said, stating he has been working with that bidder, Kat Holland of Holland Contracting in Dothan, to see if the bid could be reduced any more. “She’s gotten it down to $256,727.”

He said the city could also save some money by “deleting the bonds” researching possible electrical fixes.

“Of the $256,000, the electrical (work) was $63,641, and that’s because all that electrical for the ball fields comes to that panel bank that feeds back to the fields and it also feeds back into the building,” Donofro said. “The electrical engineer (also saw) some of the work that was around the building need to be upgraded to meet code.”

He said he would like to have the subcontractor “break out” the electrical work of the bid to see what the price includes, which could offer potential ways to save some money.

He also said the council could consider pricing a single story building, but he said he did not believe that plan would “achieve” what the council wants for the facility.

“If this is going to be a revenue generator for the community, I think it really needs to be something that is nice for you to have,” Donofro said. “We designed this thing, basically, on a shoestring budget and the number just came in like it came in.”

Mayor Jayme Stayton said the city will not be able to get the price it has been looking for to complete the project.

“We’re not going to be able to get that price that we can, that $150,000,” he said. “We’re not going to get it… not in today’s market.”

Council member Alan Souders asked questions about options with vinyl siding, the type of block being listed in the bid request and other aspects of the building and its outside features, such as the inclusion of asphalt shingles or lock-seam metal roofing materials.

“If we do sign with Kat (Holland), we may still be able to affect some savings on the electrical side and still be able to consider the metal roof as an option if we get the price down,” Donofro said.

Council member Scott Moore calculated costs per square foot for the building to equal around $180.

“How is that happening,” he asked.

“It literally is the economy,” Donofro replied. “When you invite 10 bidders and you get two because the rest of them are so busy… that’s just what it is.”

“That’s a huge difference, too, I guess, from a commercial (project) to a residential (project),” Moore said.

Donifer replied that he reached out to home builders and “crossover” contractors from around the Wiregrass to bid on the concession stand project.

“I didn’t leave any stone unturned,” he said. “We tried to find the bidders on this job.”

He encouraged the city to consider local vendors to provide materials for the project as a possible way to offset some project costs as well.

Souders asked if the size of the building should be reduced to save money. Donofro replied that the facility’s bathroom’s determine the size of the building.

“I know we need to get the cost down, but I hate to strip it down too much to where it’s so cheap that it’s not even worth building,” Souders said.

Donifer replied that the changes suggested to the project would not diminish “the integrity of the building.”

He also suggested the council ask about any United States Department of Agriculture funds that are available to help pay for the project.

Moore asked if Beasley Construction was contacted for the first round of bids on the project. Beasley Construction is currently completing a concession stand project for Wicksburg High School.

When Donifer said he had not, Moore said he would reach out to that company about the concession stand project. Donifer also encouraged reaching out to other construction companies to bid on the project as well.

“This is going to be a great facility,” he said. “We’ve just got to get it off the ground. I don’t know how much below $250,000 we’re going to get. I don’t think you’re going to break $200,000, but if we can get it close to $200,000, I think we ought to go with it.”

The next council meeting will be held Tuesday, June 18, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.

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