The bids came back much higher than expected for four planned projects at the Grand Haven Community Center.

At last week’s City Council meeting, Grand Haven Public Works Director Derek Gajdos and Evan LeDuc, of Abonmarche, presented bids that were close to double the budgeted price tag.

“The project is principally composed of four components,” LeDuc said. The components include removing and replacing the center’s fascia, repairing the west staircase, reconstructing the terrace with a ballroom entrance and enclosing the foyer.

The original budget for that work totaled $300,000.

LeDuc said Gajdos and his engineering firm worked together to create cost parameters of each component to come up with totals of $572,000, compared to base bid totals of $660,000.

“We have approximately $651,000 available from (a Community Center improvement) bond and will collect an additional $848,000 between this year and next year,” Gajdos said, noting a few years ago the City Council approved reducing the rate of funds collected for this millage for a year.

In 2007, city voters approved a millage for work on the Community Center. Gajdos said after the completion of this project, there will be an estimated $900,000 left in the fund for the building, which was constructed in 1967.

Gadjos said that, if nothing else, something should be done about the stairs. While parts of the building are showing signs of deterioration, the public works director noted the area most affected is its west staircase.

“If we have the money and the bond is there, I don’t see a reason why not,” Councilman Mike Fritz said of completing the project. “If we leave it as it is, it’s just going to get worse.”

Councilman Bob Monetza, who has since been elected mayor, disagreed at the Nov. 4 meeting with approving moving forward with the full project without the consent of the city’s Community Center Board.

“The board ought to see this and come back to us with a recommendation,” he said. “I think this an awfully big price considering the budget.”

Bids will be brought before the Community Center Board, which meets at 5 p.m. Nov. 18, at the center, 421 Columbus Ave.

After receiving a recommendation from the board, the City Council will discuss the project again.

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