TROY — Members of the Troy City Council agreed to move forward with the Hobart Arena renovation and expansion project despite the lowest bid being more than $2.3 million above council’s original authorization of $7.35 million.
Council also designated the project as an emergency and will appear on its Tuesday, Jan. 19 agenda.
The total authorization need is listed at $9,625,475.
According to the report, the lowest and best base bid for the project was $7,994,000 from Monarch Construction. The $9.6 million project includes the kitchen equipment bid, which is estimated at $500,000, including a 5 percent contingency. The lowest bid for the kitchen equipment was $476,407, which includes Hobart brand kitchen equipment in keeping with the building’s namesake.
The bid’s alternates include landscaping, irrigation, the $191,000 catwalk replacement, $54,000 for rigging improvements, $18,000 HVAC for the addition, fire suppression throughout the building, $40,000 in soils work, and a $20,000 mobile partition. The bid breakdown also includes a $50,000 savings in suggested value engineering submitted by Monarch. The project also will have a 7.5 percent contingency of $632,475, which is built into the final request.
Monarch Construction of Cincinnati has completed projects such as the Miami University ice arena on its campus. If the contract is approved, Monarch estimated it would take 315 days — with a completion date at the end of 2016.
Public service and safety director Patrick Titterington said the project’s bids were inspected closely to ensure the city did not misinterpret part of the project to push it over its original estimate.
Keith Hall, principal architect with MSA Sport Architects, said it would be unlikely the project could be completed at a lower price if it was delayed. Hall said the bid environment is now considered a”volatile market” since general contractors are experiencing supply and demand for skilled labor, especially in the area of masonry, at this time.
“This next year will be as volatile as any,” Hall said Tuesday. “I think the market is going to be stressed all the way through the next year.”
Hall said the 2008 recession put a lot of the small subcontractor sector out of work with the competitive bidding field during the economic downswing. Now that the market has rebounded, more projects are out to bid and less labor is available to complete public works projects, such as Hobart Arena’s project, at a more competitive cost as in years past.
President Marty Baker asked if the general contractor, Monarch Construction, would be using local subcontractors. Hall said he believed the majority of the work would be completed by subs in the Dayton/Miami Valley region.
City staff and the project’s architect MSA Sport of Cincinnati said several factors increased the project’s cost. Some of those factors, which were listed in the committee report, include an improved economy, increase in project costs at 30-40 percent, uncertain renovation conditions due to the age of the building, aggressive timeline and phasing to allow for arena events to continue, and other public projects being bid at the same time.
Hall said the project would not save any money if the arena were to shut down to allow a more aggressive completion schedule. The arena plans a tentative 10-week shutdown during the summer, which is the arena’s slow time of the year in regards to events and ice time.
The city is requesting the legislation to be designated as an emergency due to the 60 day bid opening guarantee. The bid opening was held Nov. 11, 2015. Titterington said Monarch Construction agreed to hold its bid pricing through Jan. 30 to allow council’s consideration due to the bid estimate.
For more details about the renovation, visit www.hobartarena.com
Reach Melanie Yingst at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @Troydailynews