By Michael Praats | October 31, 2020 at 12:40 PM EDT – Updated October 31 at 5:55 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – Developers of North Waterfront Park in Wilmington are once again asking for a change order to help fund the project, the third time since construction began in November of 2019.
Clancy and Theys Construction Co. is requesting a change order of $195,755. If approved, the city will have approved $692,957 in change orders since November of 2019 and bringing the total cost of the project to $28 million – a far higher cost than what was approved by voters and estimated in the 2016 Parks Bond.
Fortunately, the change order total is accounted for in the overall budget for the project and will not put the project over, the previous change orders, labeled change order #1 and #2, were for $107,375 and $338,826 respectively.
In just two years the price for the park has gone from an estimated $19 million to nearly $30 million.
Plans for the park have been underway since 2013, which is when the city purchased the nearly 7-acres of riverfront land near the Isabel Holmes. Then, in 2016, voters approved a $38 million parks bond which allowed the city to move forward with completing plans for the park, the bond initially estimated a $20 million price tag for the park.
“The park program includes a first-class performance venue with 2,440 fixed seats and lawn seating for 4,850 people, trails and sidewalks, several garden areas, and 43,680 square feet of open lawn space. Other features include a pedestrian promenade, water feature plaza, hardscape plaza, office space for park staff, restrooms, connections to the existing Riverwalk, a children’s play area, and various other park amenities,” according to the request to City Council.
According to the request, which City Council will vote on Nov. 4, “The amount of the change order is accounted for in the overall project budget, which included a $1,000,000 Owner contingency as well as $427,920 in Brownfield Soils Allowance, and $637,175 in management reserve for environmental contamination. The items in this current change order generally include:
- Revisions to the plans between the GMP Plan Set and the 100% Plan Set, including “betterments” and value engineering credits with revisions to material, quantity, or methods;
- Drawing revisions to site utilities and stormwater;
- Items related to handling debris laden soils, including the addition of piles, import material, and debris disposal;
- Modifications to the sanitary sewer relocation work, with the additional costs to be reimbursed by CFPUA;
- Capturing water runoff from the neighboring PPD property; and,
- Permit revision changes”
Mayor Bill Saffo previously explained why City Council was okay with the park going over budget.
“We feel at the end of the day that we wanted to make certain that the community have a first-class park, a first-class facility, for many years to come,” Saffo said, “And I’m sure that once we spend this money and they get in here, they’ll say it was well worth it.”
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