From a City of Piedmont press release on Oct. 14. The Exedra will report on Monday’s Council deliberations:
City of Piedmont staff will recommend that the Piedmont City Council reject the two current bids for construction of the new community pool and re-open the project for bidding with modified bid documents that retain the current design but expand eligibility or bidding to a wider range of contractors.
The Piedmont City Council will consider the recommendations at their October 17, 2022 meeting. The agenda report is available for download on the City’s website HERE.
The City received bids for pool construction from two pre-qualified contractors on September 26, 2022. Both bids exceeded previously estimated construction costs by more than 15%, with the lowest bid coming in at $24.6 million. After evaluating both bids and considering all options, the project team recommends rejecting the current bids and modifying the bid documents to expand eligibility to a wider range of contractors. Based on feedback received, and inconsistencies between the two bids, the team also recommends simplifying the scope of work portions of the bid documents to provide additional clarity to prospective bidders.
It is not uncommon in the construction industry for bids to come in above estimated costs, especially in the current bidding environment. A dramatic rise in construction costs, driven by pandemic-related supply chain issues and labor shortages, has unfolded since the passage of Measure UU.
Between July 2020 and July 2022, the California Construction Cost Index increased by 30%. In comparison, the 10-year average annual increase between 2010 and 2020 was 2.4%. The 20-year average annual increase was 2.9%. Recent data, however, indicates that the inflationary trend in construction costs is beginning to ease. Between July and September 2022, the California Construction Cost Index has dropped 6%.
“We are disappointed but not deterred,” said City Administrator Sara Lillevand. “The community pool has been a treasured recreation and gathering space for generations of Piedmonters, and this project to rebuild and improve upon our only pool facility ensures that it will remain so for years to come. By casting a wider net for contractors, I am optimistic that we will find a firm to complete the project within the City’s available resources.”
Primary funding for the pool replacement project comes from Measure UU, approved by Piedmont voters in November 2020. Measure UU authorized the sale of $19.5 million in general obligation bonds to fund a new community pool. In August 2022, the City partnered with the Piedmont Recreational Facilities Organization (PRFO) to launch a capital campaign intended to raise up to an additional $2 million through private donations to close an anticipated funding gap. This effort is ongoing and will be imperative to moving the project forward with the current design.
The new community pool as designed will include a 27-meter competition pool with diving wells, a 3,177 square foot activity pool with three 25-yard lap lanes, and a single story building featuring locker rooms, two gender neutral changing rooms, and a rooftop pavilion.
The City of Piedmont and the Piedmont City Council are grateful to the community for their continued support for the new community pool project.
Find more information on the project HERE.
Find more information on the PRFO capital campaign HERE