Is Everybody Ready for the Next Phase?
Guaranteed Maximum Price Due in October
The Canopy project will move from the Design Development phase into the Construction Documents phase. This phase will conclude in October, when the design team will come back to the Commission with construction drawings and a guaranteed maximum price.
Weaver Wants to Slow Down
With only four commissioners present – Commissioner Carolyn Cooper was absent – Commissioner Todd Weaver tried to persuade the other three to ‘push the pause button’ on the project until the full Commission is present and has all the information necessary to move forward. After a heated exchange with Mayor Steve Leary, Weaver concluded his remarks but stopped short of making a motion to table the project.
Seidel Offers Conditional Support
Commissioner Greg Seidel seemed ambivalent about the decision. “So, I don’t want to make a decision not knowing what the cost is going to be,” said Seidel. “I’m okay to move forward to the next phase . . . and if we’re pretty close in dollars, it’s going to be hard to say no. But if it comes in at $50 or $55 million, we are going to have to have some more discussions . . . .”
Was There ‘Proper and Public Notice’ of Project Changes?
During public comment, former Commissioner Phil Anderson weighed in with a series of pointed questions to Commissioners, City Attorney, Bond Counsel and City Manager about whether “. . . they could guarantee that proper and public notice had been given to residents, bond holders and each commissioner” regarding the following five issues.
- The “material change in scope” eliminating approximately 14,000 square feet from the library;
- The “change in use” . . . emphasizing international convention tourism adjacent to the expanded Children’s Library program;
- The reduction in green space of MLK Park by approximately 2 acres;
- The “material changes” in the Total Construction Budget and Operating Expenses and that the City Manager has properly budgeted and reserved sufficient contingency and has a sufficient funding plan for the project in place;
- That qualified, licensed civil and structural engineers have approved the drawings and specifications and have certified that the design as budgeted . . . fully meets the existing . . . soil conditions, storm water and parking requirements; and that the City Manager and staff have opined as to sufficiency of those certifications?
Anderson suggested “postponing further action until the City Attorney and City Manager have confirmed the notice of and the content of these questions.”
How Much Will It Cost to Go to Construction Documents Phase?
The final question, posed by Commissioner Seidel, caused the most consternation. The question was, how much will it cost for the design team to create construction documents and come back to the Commission with a guaranteed maximum price? In other words, how much will it cost to go to the next phase?
City Manager Randy Knight said, ‘off the top of his head,’ he didn’t know. Seidel turned to the audience, where representatives of the architectural firm, the construction company and the owner’s representative were sitting, causing considerable back-and-forth among them, but none of them could come up with an answer either.
‘That Number Exists Somewhere’
Mayor Leary got the meeting back on track when he stated, “That number exists somewhere, so why don’t we move forward while you guys get us somewhere in the ballpark.” With that, Leary asked the City Clerk to read the roll. Leary, Seidel and Sprinkel voted in favor of moving forward to the Construction Documents phase, with Weaver casting the sole dissenting vote.
City Manager Randy Knight later confirmed the cost of going to the Construction Documents phase is $640,000.