Centennial Park project estimate over budget

The project exceeds the approved budget as provided for within the current financial plan

Upgrades to Centennial Park will have to be scaled back slightly after cost estimates came in over budget.

Only one company bid on the project – Milestone Equipment Contracting – and the company’s tender price came in at $460,214.

That figure is considerably higher than a design engineer’s original cost estimate of $368,010.

With administrative costs and a contingency (for unexpected issues arising) factored in, the total cost of the project came in at $572,298.

But council only budgeted $461,000 for the project in the 2013-2017 five-year financial plan.

Clinton Crook, the city’s senior buyer, said in a report to council that if optional construction work is removed, the project will fit within the city’s budget.

“Based on the lone tender submission, the project exceeds the approved budget as provided for within the current financial plan,” Crook said. “Given the significance of the project, staff has explored a reduced project scope in detail. Adjustments have been made to the project scope by removing optional work.”

Upgrades to Centennial Park include a multi-use court and a natural playscape area.

The multi-sport court is expected to be developed in between the two tennis courts and the swings will remain intact.

But the new playground will be a playscape designed using natural elements that will change from day to day and season to season.

The natural playscape will feature things like a large wooden eagle nest structure, wooden cookie stepping stones, and boulders for climbing. The central practice court at the park will also be repaved and repainted.

Further improvements are expected to include new fencing and the addition of basketball hoops.

The project is being funded through a combination of a Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund grant worth $225,000 and $225,000 from the city’s Parks Parcel Tax.

The city met with a focus group of middle school students in designing the upgrades.

Council was expected to make a decision on how best to accommodate the project within the money budgeted for improvements at Tuesday’s council meeting after the Mirror went to press.