Contract awarded for Everybody Plays inclusive park & playground construction in Clear Lake

CLEAR LAKE — The Clear Lake City Council earlier this week approved a contract for the construction of the Everybody Plays inclusive park and playground project.

The property at 109 South 15th Street, which used to be a county maintenance garage, was sold to the city last year for $250,000 with the intent to redevelop it into an inclusive playground that provides children and adults of all ages and abilities the opportunity to play together.

The city budgeted $1.8 million for construction of the project. The lowest of two bids submitted was by Dean Snyder Construction of Clear Lake in the amount of $1,977,500.

City finance director Creighton Schmidt says despite having a bid that was more than the engineer’s estimated cost for the project, he’s glad that the best bid was not any higher.  “Of course right now bids are even in some cases hard to come by. There’s supply issues, there’s inflationary issues, and so we were very excited to have a couple of bids to begin with.”

Kristy King with the Everybody Plays committee and Bergland & Cram says it’s been tough for firms like hers to accurately estimate project costs with the current economic climate.   “Just even the spectrum of costs that was reflected in the two bids that you received kind of goes to show the instability of the game of estimating and where a project ends up at this point in time, but I think the committee and everyone on this project worked really hard to control the scope as much as possible to be favorable for an end cost.”

The city issued $1.3 million in general obligation bonds to offset the cost of the project and will be using cash reserves for the balance of the city’s share. The Everybody Plays committee has pledged the remaining balance of their funds, which is about $130,000.

Site work on the project is most likely to start next month with the balance of the work being done next year with a completion date of around Labor Day 2023.