116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - The City Council this week is slated to approve the spending of an additional $1.5 million in revenue from an earlier 1-percent local-option sales tax to help replace the flood-ruined and now-demolished Time Check Recreation Center.
Construction of the facility is slated to begin next summer and the center is set to open in the summer of 2016, Sven Leff, the city's parks and recreation director, said Monday.
In 2012, the council approved the use $700,000 in LOST funds for the project, which will increase to $2.2 million with the additional allocation this week.
The cost of the replacement recreation center had been in the $3 million ballpark a few years ago, but the cost has increased as the years have passed since the 2008 flood and as the project has moved from an assortment of potential construction sites.
The project cost is now estimated at $4.4 million, which includes an estimated $500,000 in added cost because the City Council has decided to build the center next to Harrison Elementary School.
The school building was built in 1929 and 1930, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has determined that the school has historic features and standing. As a result, the exterior of the proposed recreation center must be built so it is compatible with the historic school building next to it, FEMA has said.
FEMA will contribute $2.2 million in federal disaster funds to the recreation-center project, the city has said.
The project ended up on the Harrison school site after the City Council voted, 5-4, in March 2013 not to put rec center on the site of the Ellis Park maintenance shop. The council then voted for the Harrison site.
Council member Ann Poe, who heads up the Flood Protection Committee, has said she favored the maintenance-shop site, but said it lost out because of the additional cost to move the shop. The shop site likely would have prevailed if the new expenses attached to the Harrison site had been known at the time, Poe has said.
This week, the City Council also is slated to approve a professional services agreement with Novak Design Group PLC for up to $390,000 to provide architectural and construction management services on the recreation-center project.
The city took in $94 million in the 63 months that the sales tax was in place for flood recovery from April 1, 2009 through June 30, 2014, Casey Drew, the city's finance director, said Monday.
About $5.4 million of the total has yet to be allocated after spending for the rec-center project, Drew said.