The Gillette City Council got its first look at the design of a proposed ADA playground and splash pad at the Energy Capital Sports Complex on Tuesday night, and after listening to the staff presentation, it is in favor of getting the project done all at once.
The playground would have a section for young kids and a section for older kids. The splash pad would be a feature of the playground, rather than a standalone park.
Building it all at once would cost the city $3.3 million, based on engineer’s estimates. The council also was presented with a phased approach, which is estimated to cost $2.1 million.
That would remove a lot of the landscaping features, including the trees, some playground equipment and tables with umbrellas. Those would be added on at a later date.
The splash pad remained the same in both plans.
Mayor Louise Carter-King said she was concerned by the lack of trees in the phased approach. If the city chose to go that route, she said, the chances that people would use it are slim. Shady areas are important, especially in the summer.
“I just don’t know if people would go out there,” she said.
The council members agreed.
“If we’re going to spend money to build this, I want to make sure it’s something people use and enjoy,” said Councilman Nathan McLeland. “Without the trees, I don’t know how much people will use it, especially if it’s hot.”
“If we build it, we should do it right,” Councilman Bruce Brown said.
The city has $500,000 in Optional 1% Sales Tax budgeted for the project, as well as $322,000 in subdivision developer fees. The remaining amount would have to be made up in unbudgeted 1% money from project savings or unallocated funds.
The council also discussed another major project Tuesday: the second half of the remodel of the City West building. The first half was done in 2015 and 2016, but the project was then put on hold when the economy collapsed.
Development Services Director Ry Muzzarelli said he was “very happy with how the bids came in.”
The city received three bids, all from Gillette contractors. Hladky Construction, S&S Construction and Van Ewing submitted bids, and they were separated by just $60,000. The lowest bidder, Van Ewing, submitted a bid of $2,233,200, but Hladky Construction was right behind with a bid of $2,236,123.
The engineer’s estimate was $2.6 million. Including general and overhead costs, the project is estimated to cost $3.35 million, but with how the bids came in, it could be closer to $3 million.
The City Council is scheduled to vote to award a bid at its meeting next week.
Administrators have not yet made a recommendation.
Councilman Shawn Neary said he appreciates the fact that the city is getting bids from local contractors on the project and the expansion of the Energy Capital Sports Complex. There have been projects in the last year and half that hadn’t been getting local bids.
“I think it’s great we’re able to keep our local contractors busy. I think that’s fantastic. I’m happy to see that on all three projects.”
“I think it’s really nice we’re able to start moving forward again and putting out projects and putting money out on the street for our contractors and people who work for them,” Carter-King said. “This is a very positive thing for the city to be able to do this again, because we haven’t done it since 2015 at least.”