City postpones decision on aquatic center construction contract
The City Commission voted unanimously to postpone award of the construction contract for the new indoor aquatics and recreation center to their Nov. 2 meeting.
The city received four bids that were opened Oct. 13.
The bids ranged from $17.9 million to $19.6 million for the base bid but there are 22 alternatives, that City Manager said at least some of those will be necessary to the success of the project, nor does it leave room for contingency funding.
“It’s not a great time to be bidding projects of this scope,” Doyon said during the Oct. 19 commission meeting.
The city has started on the water main relocation in Lions Park ahead of full construction, which has been pushed to spring, but Doyon said there are still supply chain and labor shortages, as well as other COVID related challenges.
The project is an estimated $20 million, being funded with a $10 million grant from the U.S. Defense Department that will be matched with $10 million from the city, through the park maintenance district.
Doyon said staff has discussed the bids with the DoD office that oversees the grant program and is working with their staff and city staff to review the bids and funding options and bring a contract recommendation to the commission.
The new indoor aquatics and recreation center will be about 45,000 square feet of new construction and include a recreation pool, lap pool, gym, fitness center, walking track, multipurpose room, party room, locker rooms, sauna, restrooms, child watch area and more.
The need for an indoor aquatics and recreation center was identified in the 2016 Park and Recreation Master Plan that was adopted by the commission in November 2016.
The center will have fees for use, and will also meet training needs for Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard, but will be owned and operated by the Great Falls Park and Recreation Department.
The new facility will replace the Natatorium that was closed by the city several years ago and City Manager Greg Doyon has said that once the new facility is open, he will recommend closing the city’s existing recreation center downtown.
The new facility has been designed by LPW Architecture with TD&H Engineering.
For background on the project, see our previous coverage: