Price rises on YMCA, tentative build schedule released

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Sealy City Council continues to hash out funding needs for the prospective Mark A. Chapman Indoor Recreational facility, and projected costs could increase once again to $4.6 million if city leadership approves a new resolution between itself and the YMCA. 

If that happens, as contingent upon the original agreement, the YMCA would now be on the line for at least $1 million, since they absorb any additional costs past $3.5 million for the building. The city authorized $2 million toward funding the project through certificates of obligation, and the Mark A. Chapman Foundation chipped in $1.5 million for its part in April 2015. 

Brian Haines, vice president of operations for YMCA of Greater Houston, said his organization is working with the designers, Joiner Architects, to purge some of the costs but he is confident that finding up to $1.1 million is possible. 

“We’re trying to get the building we all want as efficiently as we can,” Haines said. “So hopefully that $1.1 million isn’t needed in full, but we’re willing to commit to that amount at this point based on what we know from our donors — future donors and donors who have already provided funding to us.” 

City manager Larry Kuciemba said council members were not required to vote on a final resolution as of yet, but simply authorize the YMCA and city staff to arrange a future funding agreement for the $1.1 million and present it at a later meeting. Council passed the decision unanimously.

Next, Joiner Architects received authorization from council to prepare plans, specifications and bid documents for the YMCA.

Joby Copley of Joiner Architects and his firm have juggled between design specifications for the last few months, which were finally settled at a meeting earlier this month. Originally, there were two options on the table for the build out. Council elected to go with a second option keeping all construction onsite.

In the first option, the city would have accepted a gifted deed from the Cryan family to construct an offsite parking area on the north-northwest side of the park doubling as secondary entry to a proposed apartment complex behind the facility, but council said they had reservations with it due to safety.

“Now that the funding is where it should be, we’re going to get the building that’s right for the site,” Copley said.

Based on the most current designs, the overall building floor plan has been reduced by a little more than 1,000 square feet to fit it within a $4.6 million budget.

Most of the excised dimensions were taken from circulation spaces like the mechanical and storage room, corridors and the welcome center, Copley said. Storage rooms in the child watch and administration areas were split in two. The wellness center and group exercise room lose 100 square feet and 178 square feet, respectively, to conform to the new building size.

Costs for geotechnical investigation, utility tap fees, electrical service connection and surveying remain the same from Joiner’s early estimates for the project. However, building construction costs per square foot have increased.

Back in early December 2015, Copley gave a $235 per square foot price for the facility, while shrinking square footage from 18,000 to approximately 15,000 to meet a then $4.25 million tag.

“Construction costs are on the rise. Contractors aren’t really hungry right now, so we think that number is going to be in the $276 a-square-foot range,” Copley said.

Including a 4 percent contingency, costs come in at roughly $4.6 million for current design specs measuring 14,000 square feet.

Upcoming schedule for the Mark A. Chapman Indoor Recreational facility:

March 22 — Present revisions to city council

March 23 — Begin construction documents

May 2016 — Submit 50 percent of construction documents for city manager review

June 2016 — Submit 75 percent of construction documents for city manager review

July 2016 — Submit 95 percent of construction documents for city manager review

July 12 — Present construction documents to city council

July 13 — Issue construction documents for competitive sealed proposals

Aug. 4 — Project bid date

Aug. 9 — Present bid proposal to city council

August 2016 — Issue notice to proceed/begin construction

June 2017 — Substantial completion/owner move-in

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