Bids are lower than expected on Sammamish Community Center

May 28, 2014

By Ari Cetron

New: May 28, 11:14 a.m.

The bids are in, and the Sammamish Community Center could end up costing about $2 million less than anticipated.
On May 20, the City Council approved giving the $25.6 million contract to Porter Brothers Construction, of Edgewood. When combined with design costs and costs associated with the demolition of the Kellman house, the total estimated project cost is $32.49 million. About $1.4 million of that is a contingency fee, which will only be spent in the event of unexpected changes.
The council approved the contract with a 6-1 vote. The lone opposition came from a longtime community center opponent, Councilman Ramiro Valderrama.
Valderrama applauded the fact the bids came in lower than the engineer’s estimates, which had projected the total cost to be $34.5 million.
However, the project is still more than the $30 million estimate in a 2012 advisory vote.
Valedrrama said that while he respected the advisory vote, where 54 percent of voters approved the community center, he also respected those who voted for the $30 million price tag.
The council first discussed the bids, which had been opened May 19, in a closed session. The lowest bidder, Commercial Structures, withdrew their bid, leaving Porter as the apparent low bidder. There were 10 total bids on the project.
Councilman Don Gerend was the only other councilmember to address the center. He said he was excited the bids came in and that the project is moving forward.
The bid included a host of items that had been considered optional. If the bids had been higher, the city would have been able to eliminate some of the items to bring the project budget back in line.
Since the numbers are lower, the community center will be built with two gyms, a jogging track, water slide and tiled pool deck.
The council’s acceptance vote is contingent upon city staff first checking the company’s references and ensuring they are capable of completing the project.
That seems likely, as the company has recently completed a number of other large projects, including Lakeridge Middle School, Gray Middle School, Bow Lake Elementary School, and Raisbeck Aviation High School.
City officials expect construction to begin next month. The community center will likely open in early 2016.

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