By Jason KUROSU
The Glendale City Council rejected construction bids for upgrades to the historic Le Mesnager Barn at Deukmejian Wilderness Park, stating that recent bids were considerably higher than original construction estimates.
In June, the city council approved a resolution to seek bids for an adaptive reuse project that would add a new HVAC system, plumbing and electrical work, a new concrete floor slab, a new glass storefront entry and ADA improvements to the facility. The preliminary project schedule estimated completion of the project by December 2015.
Seismic upgrades to reinforce the barn’s structure were completed in 2011, but the project has since been on hold due to lack of funding, which has since become available in the form of $16 million in development-related fees.
Three bids were received by construction firms in July, with the lowest nearly $400,000 more than the original estimated cost of $450,000 to $500,000 for the project.
“Unfortunately, the bids that we did receive were much higher than we anticipated,” said Assistant City Manager Yasmin Beers.
According to a city staff report, the small pool of bidding firms, smaller than average project size, and improved bidding market for development projects contributed to the higher bids.
“Additionally, staff and the designing architect feel there are several opportunities to reduce construction costs without affecting the quality of the overall project,” the report states.
Local resident Bill Weisman spoke before the council on the significance of Deukmejian Park as a community resource, most recently a gathering spot for nearly 200 residents Sunday night for a view of the “supermoon” lunar eclipse.
“It’s very important for you to realize that Deukmejian Park is a regional asset that’s enjoyed by people from all over the area,” Weisman said. “When it comes time to think about the distribution of development impact funds, it deserves your consideration. I know the need is greater in South Glendale, but out of $16 million, surely some of it can be used for completion of Deukmejian Park.”
One more community meeting will be held to discuss the use of the city’s development impact fees, which are being considered for a variety of city projects.
The public workshop will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Pacific Park Community Center, located at 501 South Pacific Avenue.
The council will revisit the bidding process and discuss the barn project at a Nov. 17 special meeting.