ELKO – After trimming plans for the Elko Sports Complex because of too-high costs and seeking bids for a second time, the Elko City Council has awarded a contract to begin work on the complex this summer.
The council and city staff were worried if bids still weren’t low enough, they would have to delay construction on the complex, which they hope will draw tournaments and be an economic boost to the community.
“I know the staff did a lot of work. I’m really excited. We were all nervous until we saw the bids come in,” Elko Councilman Reece Keener said at the April 10 council meeting.
Granite Construction’s bid of a little more than $6.78 million was the lowest for the first-phase basics and four alternatives combined, and it was under budget. Granite Construction’s bid for the first, fancier plan was a little more than $12 million, and the council had to reject it.
Elko’s assistant city manager, Scott Wilkinson, told the council that of the four new bids, Granite Construction’s was “the low and responsive bidder,” and the staff recommended including all the alternatives, such as lighting and field construction.
The proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 provides $8.9 million for the sports complex, including donations already received, but there will be additional costs that could range up to nearly $1 million.
Along with Granite’s bid, the city will spend $337,871 to cover city-responsible expenses, such as quality testing, permit management and historical preservation management. The city also will either spend roughly $600,000 to $650,000 to buy field lighting fixtures or $100,000 a year to lease the giant lights.
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Wilkinson said Wednesday the decision on leasing or buying the lights will be up to the finance department.
The three other bidders for first phase and alternatives were: High Mark Construction of Elko, $7.24 million; Great Basin Engineering Construction of Elko, nearly $7.54 million; and Remington Construction, $8.7 million.
The first phase of the project will include earthwork and field construction, planting natural grass, irrigation, wetlands mitigation, lighting, fencing for dugouts and bullpen and storm drainage.
The second phase will include outfield fencing, a concession stand, restrooms and parking lot construction, Wilkinson said. The city will seek bids this July for the second segment to be done in the spring of 2019.
“Our plan is to have playable fields by the fall of 2019,” he said in a phone interview. “We have to get the turf established.”
The sports complex will be on 61 acres south of the Humboldt River. The city has roughly 80 acres, but a little more than 61 acres for the complex is enough to accommodate the planned fields and provide space for more fields “in the next decade or two,” Wilkinson said.
The original plan for the sports complex provided for a plaza, concrete work and planters that the city also could decide to do later, he said. The city will be collecting additional room taxes in the new fiscal year and following years that can be applied to the sports complex.
“We’re looking pretty good,” Wilkinson said.
The city also is looking for more large, corporate donations for the complex. Smaller donations are welcome also, and the Elko Parks Foundation is set up to take the contributions.