Ramsey council approves bids for Elmcrest Park building

The Ramsey City Council Dec. 10 unanimously approved bids to construct a new community building at Elmcrest Park.

This will be more than a place to buy beverages and snacks for people attending youth athletic association games. A large meeting room will give associations and the public at-large a space to discuss issues important to them.

The new community building at Elmcrest Park will include a space for selling concessions, a large meeting room, storage space and a gathering area that includes a fireplace.
The new community building at Elmcrest Park will include a space for selling concessions, a large meeting room, storage space and a gathering area that includes a fireplace.

It means that the Anoka-Ramsey Athletic Association will not have to put up a tent when hosting tournaments that host teams from out of town. Lisa Muller, president of the association, said it had to put down wood boards because Anoka County said it could not just place items on the grass if it wanted to serve concessions.

Muller is excited to see this project move forward, which she said will “get people from out of town to come to the businesses and it helps the associations keep the fields up.”

“We’ve been working on this diligently for the past two-and-a-half years, but we’ve been talking about it for 10 years,” she said.

According to Muller, the association has had as many as 172 soccer teams with about 3,000 kids at some tournaments. The association schedules games at Elmcrest for traveling teams, which start as young as the fourth grade and go up through U-17.

Mark Riverblood, parks and assistant public works superintendent for Ramsey, said the tournaments are often three or more days. There is at least one traveling tournament in July and another in October.

“With parents and other spectators one can easily double the number of park patrons (over the 3,000), over the course of a couple of days,” Riverblood said.

Muller anticipates even more teams could be interested in coming to play at Elmcrest with this new facility in place.

American Liberty Construction Inc. is serving as the construction manager. The maximum cost of the project would be $716,785 and the main funding source would be the city’s park trust fund, according to Riverblood.

The association pledged $40,000 to the project’s construction in March 2013. After a design process with stakeholders, which included members of the council, park and recreation commission, city staff and Anoka-Ramsey’s Northern Lights traveling soccer club, the council authorized formation of a construction team and advertising for bids at its Sept. 24 meeting, Riverblood said.

The initial bids came back to the Nov. 26 council meetings, but 11 of the 27 bid categories had no one bid. In addition, the utilities, septic system, metal panels, cement board siding, coiling doors, gypsum drywall and painting categories came in with bids higher than anticipated. The council approved a motion to deny the seven higher bids and asked staff to seek quotes for portions of the project that came in higher than anticipated or where nobody bid, Riverblood said.

The building will be served by city sewer and water along with electric and natural gas utilities, he said.

Riverblood said the city encouraged Ramsey businesses to submit quotes for portions of the project that were being re-bid, but the lowest responsible quote was always accepted.

Some Ramsey businesses that will be working on this project include Dave Perkins Contracting, which got a $16,375 contract for utility work and the $37,860 contract for sanitary sewer work, and Native Concrete and Masonry, which got $102,316 in contracts for concrete work and masonry work, including stone masonry around the fireplace.

A Blaine company, R & J Insulation, will be doing the insulation work for $4,280. Rogers-based Skold Specialty Contracting beat out a Coon Rapids company on a bid to install coiling steel doors that will be shut off the open area of the pavilion during the winter. The winning bid was $19,494, which was about $3,000 less than the Coon Rapids company and almost $9,000 less than a Duluth company bid.

There were a few bids on painting with an amount as high as $24,500 coming from a Sartell company. The low bidder at $16,235 was Protouch Painting of South St. Paul.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]