09/21/08 — Rec Center plans still on track

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Rec Center plans still on track

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on September 21, 2008 7:27 AM

Although the Recreation Center Committee hasn't met in a few months, the city's newest project proposed for a South Center Street location is still proceeding smoothly, officials say.

After more than a year's of changing design plans and tweaking smaller items like the depth of the swimming pool and the color of the exterior brick, the Community Recreation Center is still on target to be completed by February 2010, City Manager Joe Huffman said Thursday.

The committee hasn't had regular monthly meetings, Huffman said, because the design team at Raleigh architectural firm Pearce, Brinkley, Cease and Lee was making sure everything the committee wanted was incorporated in the plans and perfecting specifications and details for the building.

Currently, R.N. Rouse & Co. is preparing pre-qualification documents -- a set of guidelines that contractors and subcontractors must meet, including background checks, to be pre-qualified to submit bids for the project.

He said city officials are also making sure the building and the city's actions meet all the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development requirements to be eligible to use Community Development Block Grant funds for the project.

So far, the city has spent $214,600 of the $267,902 in CDBG funds allocated for fiscal year 2007-08 for architectural services for the recreation center, Planning Director Randy Guthrie said.

The rest of those funds and other CDBG funds leftover from previous years adds up to about $280,000. Add that to the $436,306 CDBG funds projected to be spent on the project in fiscal year 2008-09, and that's $537,325 in CDBG funds available for the project, Guthrie said.

The leftover money, about $100,000, will be used toward the project next year, Guthrie added.

Huffman said the project price hasn't been changed, that it is still estimated to cost nearly $12.3 million.

But he said officials wouldn't truly know the exact amount until bids start flowing in.

"We have no idea what they are going to be," he said. "They could be cheaper than expected or they could be more expensive. We don't know."

The unknown, he said, stems from the daily changes in the market and the changes in gasoline prices and how those factors will affect the potential bidders' costs.

The Recreation Center Committee is expected to meet again at the end of September or early October.