SOLANA BEACH — After two rounds of bid requests, City Council awarded the construction contract for Fletcher Cove Community Center renovations at the Jan. 26 meeting.
Carlsbad-based Delta Builders, which came in with the lowest bid at $267,475, is expected to begin work in about a week and hopefully have the job completed for the city’s 25th anniversary celebration in July.
The city issued a request for proposals late last year and received nine bids ranging from $334,500, also from Delta, to $554,800.
“It was a reality check for us,” City Engineer Mo Sammak said. “The bids were a little bit out of our reach.”
The proposals were higher than the $279,000 budgeted for the renovation because specialty items were not identified in the bid process, making it difficult for contractors to reach a requirement that 50 percent of the job be done by their workers and not subcontractors.
City staff met with the architect to arrive at an affordable base price for the contract by identifying a handful of alternate bid items — or features that could be removed and added back if funding is available — that represent a $76,700 savings.
The project was readvertised Jan. 13, and the city received six bids ranging from
Delta’s $267,475 to $463,450. Five previous contractors did not rebid the job, but the second request attracted two new companies.
The alternate bid items include substituting accordion-style doors with French doors, using gray rather than colored concrete and eliminating solar roof panels.
“I’m not happy about losing these, I have to tell you,” Mayor Lesa Heebner said. “So community, please open up your wallets. We need some more money so we can make sure that we have all of these beautiful features that we originally wanted in here.”
The city is funding the renovation with $69,000 from the Americans with Disabilities Act, $25,000 of redevelopment agency money and a $185,000 donation from the Solana Beach Community Foundation.
“We could not have had a worse couple of years in the economy than we’ve had now and still, for something like this, we still raised this kind of money,” foundation board member Peter House said. “I think that’s pretty astounding.”
House said contributions came from residents in all parts of the city, from Eden Gardens to neighborhoods east of Interstate 5 that aren’t particularly close to Fletcher Cove.
“We had donations from people who really couldn’t afford a lot give something,” he said. “Everybody gave what little they could afford.”
House said the foundation will continue its fundraising efforts.
Council members gave staff flexibility to use $37,000 remaining in the redevelopment agency account to fund some of the alternate bid items.
“This is exactly the types of things we should be spending (money on) with that type of funding,” Councilman Dave Roberts said.
The renovation is phase two of a three-phase project to bring the aging community center, a former Army barracks that was moved to its present bluff-top location in the 1940s, into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Phase one, which was completed in November, included grading and parking. Phase three will feature park improvements for the southern portion of the site.