Centennial ice project trimmed
Centennial Ice Rink manager Sean Flynn checks one of Centennial's compressor system generators. Replacing the decades-old ice making system is one of three major capital improvement projects in the Wilmette Park District's 2013 budget. | Provided
WHAT: Ice system replacement
WHERE: Centennial Arena
HOW MUCH: $1.9 million
Updated: March 1, 2013 6:20AM
After bureaucratic oversight raised a $2 million estimate on replacing Centennial Arena’s ice system to $2.8 million, Wilmette Park Board members wrestled the cost back to originally projected levels by narrowing the project.
Commissioners met Jan. 21 in special session and approved a smaller set of bids that will allow renovations to be completed by this fall, at a cost of $1,967,000.
That allows the district to replace its aging compressor and pipe system, which makes ice for the complex and hasn’t been replaced for years. Work will close the rink between late April and mid-September.
To get costs in line, commissioners won’t include an emergency standby generator that had originally been in the project, nor will they upgrade Centennial’s indoor tennis court HVAC system as originally planned.
Cutting those items – $340,725 and $319,489 bid respectively – lowers the final price. The board will also rebid a $64,000 temperature control project element, and must still seek bids for indoor painting, flooring and carpeting, preliminarily budgeted at $150,000
The overrun happened after an ice specialist hired by project engineer W-T Engineering failed to realize that the district planned to replace refrigerant tubing that normally lies under the ice, Committee Chairman Darrell Graham said Jan. 17.
The specialist’s estimate, without that necessary element, was included in previous reports and the divergence came to light after bids were opened for the project’s multiple sub-elements.
Commissioners learned of the problem at their regular Jan. 14 meeting. The Centennial committee met Jan. 17 to review the project, and make recommendations to the full board.
District Director Steve Wilson recently said the $2.8 million total was closer to his staff’s original estimates; the bids that came in for each element were in line with those estimates, Graham agreed.
Wilson said the generator was included to provide the district with a backup to keep operations going if Centennial’s power failed. That has happened rarely enough in the past that the district can continue to rent temporary generators if an emergency happens again, he said. The HVAC upgrade can be tackled later as a stand-alone project.~.