The second time was a charm in Anoka’s effort to continue building up Castle Field.
Anoka is moving ahead on the next phase of construction at the ballpark, which opened for limited play last summer.
The Anoka City Council unanimously approved a bid from Ebert Construction for $414,600 to continue the completion of the new ballpark. This comes after rejecting a bid that came in over budget last summer.
This second phase includes the construction of a building beneath the bleachers to house concessions, restrooms and storage, plus two bid alternates that include the entrance monument and trash enclosure for the field.
There were 12 bids submitted for the project. And while Ebert wasn’t the lowest bidder, Alliance Construction asked to withdraw from consideration after the company realized it had made an error in its bid, said Greg Lee, public services director and city engineer.
Alliance’s bid was $365,302.
In August of last year, the city received just one bid for this phase of the Castle Field construction, also from Ebert Construction.
But the city was reluctant to go ahead with only one bid, which was also $60,000 over the engineer’s estimate.
Last summer, city staff had recommended the council reject the lone bid and rebid the project over the winter with the hope of saving some money.
“This time around we were very successful in getting competitive bids,” Lee said. “By rebidding this, the city does save about $66,500.”
Ebert Construction is planning to work on the project early in the season, and the company will work around the use of the ballpark.
“Events like the May 10 St. Paul Saints game and other games that will occur there throughout the course of the season will be accommodated,” City Manager Tim Cruikshank said.
There are plans for the St. Paul Saints to come to town this spring to play an exhibition game against the Anoka Bucs and Metro Minny All-Stars.
The third phase of Castle Field construction, which includes many of the finishing touches to the facility, is planned for 2015. This would include the brick paver plaza and landscaping elements like flag poles and monuments, Lee said.
“We’re currently in the fundraising stage of selling bricks for the plaza area,” Lee said.
But Mayor Phil Rice acknowledged that fundraising has been slow to take off, likely because very few ball games have been played at Castle Field.
“When we get people visiting and playing and some enthusiasm around this beautiful ballpark, I … suspect that fundraising for phase three will get a little easier,” Rice said.