January 17, 2011


Bids come back too high on new Beaudry building

BuildingJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
The recreation building at Beaudry Park near Owego Street is locked and unused Saturday. A project to build a new building is on hold because of high prices.

Staff Reporter

A plan for a new Beaudry Park recreation building is going back to the drawing board, after bids for the project came in substantially over budget, Cortland Youth Bureau Director John McNerney said.
At least four bids came in, with the lowest bid at $273,000 from the James & Son Construction Co., of Skaneateles.
McNerney and project engineer Ken Teter plan to present the information to the Common Council Tuesday, and a resolution is on the agenda to officially reject all of the bids because they came in higher than expected.
Bids went out in November for construction of a 2,040-square-foot building.
Teter estimated at the time that the proposed wooden building with a metal roof would cost between $230,000 and $235,000.
McNerney said there were many reasons, such as material and labor costs, why the project went over budget, and the challenge will be finding a way to stay within the budget.
The project received $150,000 from the state Dormitory Authority through Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton (D-Ithaca) in July. The money must be spent within three years.
The Youth Bureau will supplement the funding with a $50,000 donation from the Ted Fenstermacher Estate and a $17,500 donation from Jerry Contento to demolish and remove the old building.
“We’ve already had a series of meetings with our engineer,” McNerney said, adding that he was not going to give up on the project. “We’re looking at all of our options.”
Almost $15,000 has already been spent on drawing up plans for the building. McNerney said not all of that will go to waste.
“We can still use the concept and a lot of the work,” he said. “I don’t think we have to start back at square one.”
Alderman Tom Michales (R-8th Ward) said the city will have to find other ways to fund the project, through grants or other means, or scale it back. He said he suggested the idea to scale the plan back a couple of months ago, and thinks the idea could be revisited.
“Maybe we don’t need that large of an area,” Michales said, adding the facade could change as well. “We don’t want to lose the grant money.”
Alderman Bob Craig (D-1st Ward) said he would like to see the project be completed, since the building is used all year.
“I don’t think we want to scale back,” Mayor Susan Feiszli said.
Instead of going back to the drawing board, she suggested the city could save money by not hiring a general contractor, and instead have the work done by various city departments.
“With us being our own general contractor we would save significantly and have the same product,” Feiszli said, adding that it would eliminate mark-up costs.
The city planned to use its own resources to install the heating and plumbing.
The proposed plan was to centralize the building in the park by constructing it close to the parking lot and closer to the athletic fields than the current building. The location will allow an employee to watch people sledding on the hills on weekends and after school during the winter.
The building could be used by community groups and families as a location for birthday parties. The plan had a kitchenette with a pass-through window to allow for food and drinks to be served during public events.
The old building is a former logging hut used to support the Depression-era back-to-work Civilian Conservation Corps effort in Virgil. It has become rundown and has sustained damage to its doors, windows, roof, insulation, siding, entrance ramp and heating system.
“The building is in tough shape, no doubt about it,” McNerney said.


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