$7.3 million facility could be completed by Nov. 30
September 8, 2011
By Leslie Moses
Work on the $7.3 million Charles Pointe Recreation Complex
continues, with its opening set for spring.
The complex will provide not only multiple recreation fields, but also
economic opportunity, officials say.
City Recorder Mario Blount said some people already have
asked about tournaments at the yet-to-be completed complex.
“This is going to be an economic development tool,” Blount
City Engineer Tom Brown and complex facility manager Randy
Spellman are looking at a Nov. 30 finish date, “unless we get really bad
weather,” Spellman said.
Planned as part of what City Manager Kim Haws said is “the
largest construction project the city has ever been involved in” are a
playground, walking track, full basketball court and, among other areas, four
The Bridgeport Development Authority, an arm of the city,
owns the 40-acre tract, which it acquired from the county, Mayor Jim Christie
said. Of the 40 acres, the complex sits
on about 28 usable acres, he said.
In what Blount calls “wagon wheel” style, the four fields
stretch from a center restroom and concession building. Two smaller fields for both youth baseball
and softball lay between the two larger fields.
One large field with a grass infield is strictly for
baseball; the other is set for both softball and baseball.
But with $1.09 million available, and $6.2 million partly
spent or to be paid on the project, council and the city first looked at what
they could afford now.
With $5.2 million in set aside revenue, plus a little more
than $2 million from grants and bond proceeds, there is $1.09 million available
for the project after subtracting $6.2 million in both expenditures and
encumbrances, reports show from Director of Finance Monica Musgrave.
The project was broken into multiple contracts – six are
listed on a project report from Brown – because the lowest of more encompassing
original bids came in “way over budget,” Brown said.
One site work bid contained multiple sub-contract jobs. The city decided on smaller, “more cost
effective” contracts, Brown said.
August 2010 reports state the complex work was a $6.5 million
Christie said the project could be a two-part job, and that
phase 1 of the work, now the project in the works, was projected to be $6.5 to
“We’ve added to that along the way, because we’ve had
dollars become available,” he said.
He said “B&O taxes” or business and occupation tax from
the construction of United
brought unanticipated money.
“We had more dollars come in this year than we
expected. It was over budget,” he
said. “We took some of those dollars and
allocated it toward the project.”
Brown said it is a project spread over two years, and that
the cost index is going up by 3-5 percent.
“And materials have gone up more than that,” he said.
Councilwoman Diana Marra said before the $6.5 million cost,
it was once a $12 million project, then an $8 million project.
“We tried to cut the project to fit the budget more,” Marra
Christie also said that they had considered a higher price
tag with Phase 2 on the project, which would have included a football field and
a rubber “miracle field” for those with disabilities.
Parks and Recreation Director Don Burton mentioned prices
for those using the new fields.
He discussed a $450-per-day tournament price and
$50-per-game cost for charitable groups having fundraisers.
Also, concession use for Little League will be a turn-key
operation with a $25 per day cost.
The multi-purpose facility will be “second to none,”