Nearly $600K in Community Center improvements approved

Grand Haven City Council on Monday hears a report from Public Works Director Derek Gajdos on what members of the Community Center Board recommend in upcoming improvement projects. After unanimous decisions from both boards, Clifford Buck Construction of Muskegon was awarded the contract for the work.

Unanimous decisions made on Monday have paved the way for multiple improvements at the Grand Haven Community Center.

The city’s Community Center Board met Monday to make a recommendation for work on the building, which comes with a $584,081 price tag, and was presented to City Council at its meeting later that night. Council approved the recommendation, awarding the contract for work on the Community Center to Clifford Buck Construction of Muskegon.

In a previous City Council meeting, Grand Haven Public Works Director Derek Gajdos and Evan LeDuc, of Abonmarche, presented bids that came in higher than the estimated budget for the project. Council tabled the issue in favor of hearing what the Community Center Board had to suggest.

“You are well aware of the project – there are a couple real needs here,” Gadjos told the Community Center Board. “City staff’s recommendation is to do the whole project. I think chances are really slim or unlikely that this will come back cheaper if we were to bid it out in a year or two.”

The full project includes removing and replacing the center’s fascia, repairing the west staircase, enclosing the foyer and reconstructing the terrace.

Gajdos said even with the staff’s recommendation, the board could make a different plan to present to City Council. To help show some possibilities, Gajdos presented the center board with four options made by Abonmarche.

In the first option, work would only be done on the west staircase and the fascia, and would total between $135,000 and $180,000. The second option would include the terrace and foyer work and cost between $437,000 and $480,000. A third option includes work on the west staircase, fascia and foyer, and comes with a $277,000 to $335,000 price. The final option, with work being done on the west staircase, fascia and terrace, would cost $430,000 to $505,000.

“This has to be done – we might as well do it while we have the money,” said Community Center Board Member Burton Brooks. “I would say we ought to recommend this. We’re not going to get a better quote later.”

Currently, the Community Center Board has approximately $651,000 available from a voter-approved improvement bond, and an additional estimated $848,000 is expected to be collected between this year and next. After funding the work presented, the board would have about $900,000 from the bond to put toward future maintenance of the building.

At the beginning of the meeting, Community Center Board Member Scott Klaassen opposed completing the full project at once in favor of working in smaller steps. However, he agreed to move forward with the recommendation.

“We have to make a choice,” Klaassen said. “This is for our citizens. We have been talking about this for years. We want to make the improvements and it’s not going to be cheaper later.”

Gajdos presented City Council with the center board’s unanimous decision, which includes a 3 percent contingency fund.

“For the last couple contracts, we haven’t had any contingency funds,” he told the council. “This building was built back in the ‘60s, record drawings weren’t really practiced very well, and we just don’t know what we are going to get into.”

The public works director said he has no plans to use the contingency of approximately $17,522 if it isn’t necessary.

“I want to thank the Community Center Board for taking the time to take another look and give us their affirmation of what they want,” Mayor Bob Monetza said.

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