July 20, 2015 – At the July 14, 2015 regular board meeting the Board of Park Commissioners approved all remaining construction contracts for the ARC project. The approved contracts approved included: Building Concrete, Precast Concrete Panels, Structural Steel, Masonry, Carpentry & General Trades, Roofing, Aluminum & Glass, Flooring, Wood Flooring, Artificial Turf, Elevator, HVAC/Mechanical, Fire Protection, Plumbing, Electrical, Brick Paving, Landscaping & Playground, Athletic Gym Equipment, Scoreboards & Marquee Equipment. Due to inconsistencies in the painting bids, the Board authorized staff to rebid the painting project, which will be considered at the August regular board meeting.
The Board reached unanimous consensus to move the project forward by approving the construction contracts even though the status of the $2.5MM Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Park and Recreational Facility Construction (PARC) grant is still unknown. The PARC grant originally approved in October 2014 was suspended by Governor Rauner through an executive order issued in January 2015, which expired on June 30, 2015. IDNR representatives recently indicated they don’t know when, or if, the project will be proceeding with grant funds. IDNR’s letter issued in March 2015 officially notifying the District of the suspension stated, “Based on the award letter distributed to you by IDNR, if the grant proceeds and the project agreement is eventually executed, those costs may be allowed under the terms of the grant.” The District remains hopeful, however it is important to note the overall funding plan was not dependent on the grant in order to proceed with the facility as designed. Based on the favorable bids received and other alternate funds to offset project costs, the District will be able to complete the financing for the project as originally planned.
The District is also pleased to report that the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Bureau of Water notified the District that another grant was approved for $362,583 to offset costs related to best management practices for the proposed permeable paver parking lot. Accordingly, the Board approved the financial assistance agreement for the grant funds at the July Board meeting.
Now that all contracts have been approved, the District’s construction manager is updating the project schedule in order to expedite construction to make up for project delays caused by inclement weather, grant notifications and unsuitable soil remediation efforts.