The City’s Engineering and Facilities Departments have stepped up to save the multi-purpose concession building at Sacramone Park – making the facility have more amenities and coming at far less money than when bid out to the private sector.
The news came on Monday night at the Council meeting when the administration reported that, after being asked to take a second look at it, they had found they could add a kitchen, a heating system and other amenities while also saving $100,000 in costs.
All that by keeping the matter in-house through the increasingly popular Facilities Department.
“By utilizing our in-house staff we will be saving our taxpayers approximately $100,000.00 while providing additional amenities in this facility,” said Mayor Carlo DeMaria. “I want to thank our Public Works, Planning, and Facilities Maintenance Department for their value engineering and creative design. I also want to thank the City Council for their input and strong support for this initiative.”
The Council was the key spark that caused a second look at the concession stand when bids came in late last year at more than $400,000. Council President Peter Napolitano noted that the cost for the concession stand was more than a house.
He and Councilor Michael McLaughlin called for the administration to take a value minded look at building.
City Planner Tony Sousa and City DPW Director Greg St. Louis turned to George Lane in the Facilities Department, and they were able to find some real savings.
McLaughlin said he was grateful for the second look, and was happy to see the overall Sacramone Park project have such a good ending for the taxpayers – as he had been extremely worried about it when the $400,000 bids had come in last year for the concession stand.
“I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Mayor and administration for working closely with me and taking a second view of the proposed construction of the concession stand,” he said. “After a roundtable discussion we have been able to save more than $100,000 and actually add additional amenities to the building. It is the type of work that can be done when the City Council and administration work together to better the quality of life for the residents and taxpayers of our community.”
Lane said it was important to note that the additional items would have driven up the private bids by about $150,000 – meaning the original bid would have exceeded $500,000.
“When you say $100,000 in savings, you have to understand that also includes adding a kitchen and a full heating system with duct work, and full compliance with the energy codes through new insulation,” he said. “If you included those added things in the original bid, it would have come out at $150,000 more. We’re dropping the cost down $100,000 and giving them a lot of extras that weren’t there…We love building and are happy the mayor gives us these opportunities.”
Sousa said the original price did fall in line with other estimates for similar structures after they reviewed the bids.
“However, when you have the opportunity to do it in house with our skilled staff, it results in savings like you see here,” he said. “Other communities may not have that or think of that.”
Sousa said the overall project at Sacramone is coming out really well, and should be substantially completed by April – along with the concession stand. The new turf fields are expected to be usable by ball teams this spring.