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Marco Island awards construction manager contract for Veterans Community Park

The Veterans' Community Park in Marco Island will include a star-shaped bandshell, according to Mark McLean from MHK Architecture and Planning.

Marco Island City Council authorized the city manager to award a $168,223 contract to Manhattan Construction Company for management of services during the development of Veterans' Community Park.

The company's preconstruction services proposal is based on an anticipated cost for construction of $8 million and an anticipated preconstruction duration of seven months.

"They are going to help out Kimley-Horn finish up the design up to 100 percent and (they) will also get quotes from all the subcontractors [...] (to) come up with a guaranteed maximum price," said Lina Upham, purchasing and risk manager for the city, at a City Council meeting March 2.

Upham said this is the first time the city is employing this type of construction management.

Gordon Knapp, senior vice president of Manhattan Construction Company's Southwest Florida area, speaks to City Council members on March 2, 2020.

From January:Star-shaped bandshell to shine at Marco Island's Veterans' Community Park

More:City Council creates non-profit to help fund Marco parks

Gordon Knapp, Florida senior leader for Manhattan Construction Company, said his firm will give the city a series of budgets as the design continues to evolve.

"We are going to bring reality to the renderings so far with a complete detailed budget of what that value is so that you don't go through 100 percent of the design only to find out that this is not what you have chosen to spend on this park," Knapp said.

"While that is occurring [...] there will be value engineering that we are going to be doing that is going to identify options to lower any prices or part of the cost of the park so that we keep it contained inside the budget parameters that this council has decided to spend on this park."

Knapp said this type of construction management helps avoid last-minute surprises.

"We are going to be working side by side over the next seven months putting in about 1,300 to 1,400 man-hours to make sure that you know that there will not be surprises when the final guaranteed maximum price comes to this City Council," Knapp said. "It won't be a surprise because you will already have three iterations of the budget along the way."

Councilor Victor Rios speaks during a Marco Island City Council meeting on March 2, 2020.

Councilor Victor Rios said City Council should not approve the contract.

"I believe (it) is [...] nowhere defined what I'm going to get as an end product," Rios said. "I'd like to see that  order spelled out in the contract, in detail, and I haven't seen it." 

"I don't think we should approve this until we get an itemized contract."

Knapp said the company submitted with the proposal an itemized list which includes the man-hours to be worked and what they are for.

City Council approved the contract 6-1 with the opposing vote of Rios.

The latest design update for the park includes a 32-foot star-shaped band shell, the Eagle reported in January.

The design was chosen from among a dozen different band shells from around the nation, said Mark McLean from MHK Architecture & Planning during City Council's Jan. 21 meeting.

"(We) came to the conclusion that a conical star-shaped band shell would be most appropriate for this park," McLean said. "The stage platform itself is also star-shaped to mimic the band shell."

"It sits nicely with its back towards the waterway with a walkway behind it."

The park facilities will also include women and men's restrooms, a 'green room' for costume change, and maintenance and utility rooms, said James Pankonin, architect for Kimley-Horn & Associates.

From 2019:Marco Island City Council approves scope of services for Veterans' Park consultant

And:Marco Island City Council approves Veterans' Community Park master plan

Marco Island City Council approved on Aug. 19 the scope of services for the Veterans' Community Park consultant for approximately $595,000.

Kimley-Horn provides design, permitting, management and construction services in accordance with the park's master plan approved in March.

"Once (this) is completed, then we can move to construction and that will of course need to be funded," Jared Grifoni, City Council vice-chair, wrote to the Eagle at the time. "I have been in favor of using the one percent sales tax revenue to fully fund the build out which will not require raising city taxes at all." 

"I fully support using a portion of our share of the one percent sales tax increment," Councilor Larry Honig previously wrote. "The community has waited for about a decade to get moving on this project. 

City Council approved a resolution creating a non-profit to help fund city-owned parks on Jan. 6.

The Marco Island Community Parks Foundation's board will consist of seven voting members including six who will be appointed by City Council, chairperson Erik Brechnitz said at the time.

The remaining member of the board will automatically be the chairperson of the Parks and Recreation Committee. 

"The people that are going to be on this board are people who can raise money and [...] have experience in developing activities," Brechnitz said.

The foundation will offer people the opportunity to make tax-free donations for the renovation of Veterans' Community Park, Brechnitz said during a City Council meeting in December.

"It allows the Parks and Rec committee to go out and solicit large donations," Brechnitz said. "We have no other way to collect those donations."

Brechnitz said it will also allow donors to make tax-free gifts from an IRA.

The non-profit will be responsible for raising funds for city parks maintenance, capital improvements and technological and safety enhancements, according to the articles of incorporation.

Omar Rodríguez Ortiz is a community reporter for Naples Daily News and Marco Eagle. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram as @Omar_fromPR, and on Facebook. Support his work by subscribing to Naples Daily News.