City Council approves $1M construction contract for Ann Arbor Skatepark
City of Ann Arbor
The contract — larger than initially anticipated — is being awarded to the Ann Arbor-based Krull Construction Co., and the city has agreed to contribute up to $424,312 for the project now.
"This has been a long time coming," said Council Member Stephen Kunselman, D-3rd Ward, who applauded and ran over to hug Trevor Staples, president of the nonprofit Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, immediately after the vote.
"I think it shows how the community and how this council and how the Park Advisory Commission all came together and worked something out," Kunselman said.
Construction is expected to begin this summer with the goal of completing all concrete work by this fall and some landscaping and other finishing touches wrapping up next spring.
Nick Dentamaro | For AnnArbor.com
With costs turning out to be higher than expected, the City Council voted Monday night to increase the project budget from $800,000 to $1,224,312 — a total increase of $424,312 — and to chip in money from various city funds.
The council established an initial project budget of $800,000 last October, including $400,000 in grant funds from the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and $300,000 from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.
Another $100,000 came directly from private monies raised by the nonprofit Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark, which paid for the design.
Colin Smith, the city's parks and recreation manager, said original construction costs were estimated at about $900,000.
Krull Construction's bid came in at $1.19 million, which still was lower lower than Bernco Inc.'s $1.25 million and Gerace Construction's $1.28 million.
The city elected to decrease the total contract amount through adjustments to the project scope, and material and equipment alternates, Smith said.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
All of those adjustments resulted in a total contract amount of $1,041,593. Krull Construction agreed to donate $10,000 toward the project, reducing the total contract amount to $1,031,593.
The original memorandum of intent between the city and the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark stated that capital construction costs were the sole responsibility of the nonprofit group. However, the city always retained the right to contribute to the costs at its discretion, and the city is now exercising that right.
Considering the significant community efforts put forth by the FOAAS and established project partnerships, the city's Park Advisory Commission recently recommended the project budget be amended to set a total project budget of $1,224,312 — consisting of $1,031,593 for the construction contract, $103,159 for construction contingency and $89,560 for design.
The City Council agreed to go along with that recommendation Monday night, pulling extra funding for the project from the following city sources:
- $80,000 from the stormwater capital budget
- $32,356 from the parks memorial and contributions fund
- $30,356 from the parks maintenance and capital improvements millage
- $22,977 from the parks general fund operating budget
- $258,623 from uncommitted funds available in the parks maintenance and capital improvements millage reserves
Any portion of the $103,159 contingency amount that's left unspent at the close of the project will be returned to the parks maintenance and capital improvements millage reserves.
Council Member Sally Hart Petersen, D-2nd Ward, said she had a concern about the city making up the $400,000-plus shortfall in funding for the project.
"We seem to be here at the 11th hour and there's a hiccup in the budget, and it's several hundreds of thousands of dollars off — with the gap being filled from city funds," she said.
Petersen suggested a two-month delay in action on the construction contract to see if private fundraising could help close the gap. She eventually voted for the contract.
Sumedh Bahl, the city's community services administrator, said the project needs to be done by next August under the terms of the grant from the state.
"This proposal does request money that was unanticipated," acknowledged Council Member Christopher Taylor, D-3rd Ward, but he said he was willing to accept that.
Council Member Jane Lumm, an Independent from the 2nd Ward, agreed it was a good use of funds and pointed out the city parks staff and the Park Advisory Commission both considered it a priority.
Staples cautioned council members to consider "what could be lost" if they didn't approve the project — nearly $900,000 raised from the community, the state and the county, he said.
"This is something our parks system has needed for a very long time," said Mayor John Hieftje, adding he has confidence the nonprofit group will be able to contribute greatly toward the maintenance costs for the skatepark.
A new agreement between the city and the FOAAS outlines that the nonprofit group is responsible for all costs for the operations and maintenance of the skatepark through Aug. 30, 2025.
The nonprofit group will be required to hold at least one annual fundraiser at the skatepark, with all net proceeds going toward the maintenance, operations and future improvements.
However, the agreement also leaves open the possibility that the city — at its discretion — could decide to contribute funds toward maintenance and operations.
The agreement also spells out rules and regulations for the skatepark, which will be open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Wearing a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards is "strongly recommended and should be used at all times. Know your ability and skate accordingly," the rules and signage section states.
Graffiti in the skatepark will not be tolerated. Other prohibited items include glass containers, alcoholic beverages, vending, radios or boom boxes, and bicycles.
Noting the skatepark has been designed for all skill levels, the city plans to have signage asking skaters to please be courteous to other people using the facility and all other park patrons.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.