Fraser Valley Rec District projects ‘on time and on budget’
November 26, 2008
With winter fast approaching, the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District (FVMRD) is working hard to make progress on its two major construction projects.
Currently under construction is the community recreation center being built on property donated to the district by the Grand Park development in Fraser. The other project is the building on a new clubhouse at the Pole Creek Golf Course.
At its meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 25, the Rec District Board of Directors was updated on the projects by Austin Watson and Ryan Smelker of ARC Integrated Program Management Inc., which is overseeing the work for the district.
In his report, Watson told the directors that the two projects are on time and on budget with 23.7 percent or $5.1 million of the $21.6 million bond money and proceeds having been spent to date.
With its foundation installed and outer walls already going up, Watson said the construction of the recreation center is moving ahead.
Over the next three weeks, plans are to complete the gym’s exterior skin, erect the natatorium (indoor pool) masonry walls and rough-in the building’s plumbing and electricial systems. Within two months, the construction team hopes to install the gym’s bar joists and then its roof.
Along with the construction progress, Watson said there is also good news about the receipt of additional funding for the recreation center above its $11.9 million budgeted amount. These new funds will allow additions and alternatives to be incorporated into the project.
A total of $354,000 in grants and donations have been approved and committed to the rec center project. Watson told the directors that up to another $1 million in grants and donations is pending.
With this new funding, Watson said the rec center has added a running track to its design, and may soon be able to include an indoor whirlpool and roof snow-melt system.
“Our goal is to pull the trigger on these additions by Dec. 15,” Watson said.
Despite this news, Watson confirmed that there had been an act of vandalism at the construction site about two weeks ago in which a couple of tires on a construction trailer were slashed. Watson said that the Fraser-Winter Park Police is investigating and security cameras have now been installed around the site.
On the clubhouse construction at Pole Creek Golf Course, ARC’s Ryan Smelker reported the building’s septic lines have already been installed.
In the next three weeks, plans are to complete the framing on the clubhouse’s main level and basement and install its roof trusses and gas line. Within the next two months, he said the construction crew hopes to pour the concrete for the exterior patio, install windows, and rough-in the building’s plumbing and electrical systems.
Naming the rec center
The issue of naming the recreation center was also brought up during Tuesday’s meeting.
A clause in the contract between the district and Grand Park requires the new building to be named the “Grand Park Community Recreation Center or some other names to be mutually agreed upon between the parties.”
Several district residents have objected to naming it after Grand Park. They have argued that it is being built with taxpayer funds and should be named after the community.
During the meeting’s open forum, Viki Bale of the Concerned Citizens group questioned the directors about whether the Grand Park name is going to be the rec center’s name or whether there was still “wiggle room” to have it named something different. She claimed Grand Park’s Web site was representing it as “their rec center.”
In response, President Dan O’Connell assured Bale that he is “not done negotiating” on the rec center’s name with Clark Lipscomb, Grand Park’s owner. However, he requested the public allow the district’s board of directors to handle the issue because “too many negotiators” might cause further difficulties in coming up with a “mutually agreed upon name” with Grand Park.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board discussed the district’s proposed 2009 budget.
Director John Kacik, the board’s treasurer, and Scott Ledin, the district’s director, said the staff had been “working hard” to come up with a budget that took into account the national economic downturn. They said the budget will be “conservative.”
As part of building next year’s budget, Kacik said the district might have to dip into its financial reserve funds. He said $100,000 of its more than $800,000 reserve could be used if necessary.
“This is just-in-case money,” he said. “It will still remain in reserve, but will just be set aside.”
The FVMRD board of directors will meet in a special session on Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. at the Winter Park Town Hall. During that meeting, the 2009 budget will be approved and the district’s mill levy will be certified.