The overhaul of Sand Creek Park in Coon Rapids began Monday after the city accepted construction bids in late April. The project will cost about $5.98 million, with the bulk of the work to be done by Peterson Companies, a local construction firm.

The work is part of a broad upgrade to the city’s park system that is being funded by $17.6 million approved by voters in November 2013.

Peterson submitted a base bid of about $3.97 million, and the city decided to add three alternative options costing $185,000.

The base bid will include six softball fields, two football/lacrosse fields, a hockey rink, an open skate area and additional parking. The three options are a trail, dugout canopy structures and electricity for a reader board.

An additional $1.29 million in amenities will be installed by separate contractors. These include hockey dasher boards, play structures, an electronic monument sign, a skate park, and sports and site lighting.

The project cost also will include $500,000 for various design and construction services.

The Sand Creek budget has fluctuated since voters approved the bond levy request in 2013.

At that time, the project cost was estimated at $5.7 million. But an updated estimate earlier this year came in at $8.9 million, with the increase due largely to rising construction costs that have occurred across the state, officials said.

The city scaled back the project to about $7 million, put out a request for bids and received three that were opened at the April 21 City Council meeting. Peterson’s was the lowest and was selected.

The current Sand Creek Park budget does not include a warming house/concession building and a maintenance building that are planned. They are being financed separately and will be bid on this month. Tim Himmer,the city’s public works director, estimated they will cost about $1.3 million.

The park is closed and programming is discontinued while construction is underway. The project is expected to be finished in 2017.

 

Taylor Nachtigal is a University of Minnesota journalism student on assignment at the Star Tribune.