Bowness and Genesis Skatepark Construction Tender Cancelled (Again)

For any City of Calgary construction project over a $200,000, they use a  bid/tender system. That means they put out an RFT (request for tender) and solicit bids from interested companies.

You already know that the original tender for the construction of Bowness and Genesis centre skateparks was cancelled.

The City re-issued the tender and the results came in. Both bids must have been over budget again, as the tender was cancelled again.

For the record, the bids were:

Ellis Don: $1,804, 099.61
Wilco Southwest: $2,319,689.80

 

What happens next? We’ve been trying to figure that out.

We believe the issue is with the city’s tender process. They only allow pre-qualified contractors to bid. That means companies need to go through an application process prior to bidding.

Because skateparks are so specialized, many general contractors/construction companies have recognized that they aren’t equipped to build them. This is why they sub contract/hire out other companies who do have skatepark construction experience to bid with them.

The problem is, this results in higher prices because there is now a middleman marking up the prices. Not that there’s anything wrong with that– it happens all the time in the construction industry.

Issuing the tender late into construction season nearly always results in higher prices also.

There is one skatepark builder on the pre-qualified list (New Line Skateparks). Earlier Calgary skatepark tenders included language that didn’t allow them to bid as they were allowed in the design process, which may be why they did not submit a bid.

Skatepark construction in Canada is costing around $50-$60 per square foot for design and construction currently. Take Banff, for example. Their new park is about $1,000,000 for a little over 16,000 square feet. That’s $62 per square foot for design and build. Lethbridge too is getting a new park. Legacy Park skatepark will be about 15,000 square feet when complete at a cost of $840,000.

Together, Bowness and Genesis skateparks are about 16,000 square feet in size. The cost to build these should be well under $1,000,000 based on the about numbers in other Alberta cities.

The parks in Banff and Lethbridge were procured using a design/build process (request for proposals aka RFP), where the same company does both the design and construction. This works for skateparks a budget is set and the park is designed and built to that budget so it’s not possible to exceed that.

In the future, the City of Calgary should probably consider adopting an RFP process. If other cities in Alberta can figure skateparks out, Calgary should be able to as well. We shouldn’t be paying DOUBLE.

 

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