Hillsboro picks contractor for aquatic center

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Meeting in special session Sept. 14, the Hillsboro City Council awarded the contract for building the new family acquatic center to Carruthers Construction Co.

The Paola company’s winning low bid was $2.279 million in a close competition with Hutton Construction at $2.290 million and ORR Construction at $2.375 million.

Even though the bids were under the $2.5 million bond ceiling designated for the project, the council agreed to work with Carruthers to reduce the cost of the project enough to put the city “in a more comfortable position,” according to Mayor Delores Dalke, in case expenses exceed those projections.

Mike Morand, project manager for Carruthers, said his company was “very excited to work with the city and Burbach (Aquatics)” and would try to “be aggressive” about working cost effectively.

He said he would be more than willing to review the plans and identify possible reductions that would lower the cost of the project “without comproming the integrity of the pool vessel or reduce the ‘wow’ factor.”

Dalke identified parking-lot lighting as an example of something that could be eliminated without diminishing the project in a noticeable way.

Construction will begin soon as possible after a Sept. 21 preconstruction conference meeting so that sufficient progress can be made this fall to enable the company to meet its completion target of May 15.

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