City reduces construction contract cost for aquatic center

The city has negotiated a lower cost for construction of the new indoor aquatics and recreation center and commissioners will be asked to approve the change order during their March 1 meeting.

Staff is recommending that the commission approve the change that will decreased the construction contract with Swank Enterprises by $244,655.

City staff recommending $18.43 million contract for new aquatic center

The commission awarded the construction contract to Swank in November with a base bid of $17.9 million and an alternate for $354,000 for about 45,000 square feet of new construction, site work such as excavation, new utility extensions, new parking lots, playgrounds and landscaping at 900 29th St. S. in a portion of Lion’s Park.

At the time, staff recommended awarding the contract even though it exceeded the project budget.

City postpones decision on aquatic center construction contract

Under Montana law, city staff can negotiate with the low bidder to get a more competitive price as long as it doesn’t exceed seven percent of the total bid proposed, according to the staff report.

But the aquatic center is funded in part by a U.S. Defense Department grant, different rules apply and staff couldn’t negotiate prior to awarding the contract, according to staff.

The DoD selected the city for a $10 million grant toward construction of the aquatic center and the city has to match that with $10 million of its own.

The facility will serve Malmstrom Air Force Base and the Montana Air National Guard. The facility will be supported by user fees and those fees have not yet been established but military members and civilians will pay the fees, according to staff.

Staff asking commission to postpone award of aquatic center contract for more review time

Once commissioners awarded the contract to Swank, staff was able to negotiate with the company to “develop a deductive change order reflecting value engineering and other ways to get back within budget,” according to the staff report.

The reduced cost will not change any of the amenities of the facility but affects materials.

City breaks ground on indoor aquatics, recreation center

The commission will also consider awarding a professional services agreement to Bannack Group, LLC during the March 1 meeting to explore fundraising and sponsorship opportunities for the project.

The city issued a request for proposals for the sponsorship and fundraising services in December and received three bids.

DoD finds no violation in city process for aquatic center

Staff selected the Bannack proposal and will pay the company a monthly retainer of $7,500, pro-rated for any partial month. Out-of-pocket expenses for all services, including travel to/from on-site services and expenses related to third-party services, are additional. All expenses will be reimbursed at cost, according to the staff report.

The other two companies that submitted bids were Great Plains Sponsorships out of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Superlative out of Cleveland, Ohio.