Sunday, June 24, 2007

Update on Baseball Expansion

Here is an update from the UMAA website on the baseball expansion:

Q: What were the objectives of Wednesday’s meeting?

A: We were trying to identify opportunities to save money that did not negatively reflect on the seating capacity or the overall image or look of the project. I would say that the architects did an excellent job of identifying those. We came up with over 30 discussion points on cost savings, ranging from $3,000 to $1 million. I was to review each of these points and to see which ones we felt were appropriate and could do in keeping with our mission of seat capacity and perception as well as long term maintenance of the buildings. We had a great discussion.

Q: What were some of the changes from the original plans?

A: Probably the major part would be the timing issue, because now we aren’t trying to pack this into a seven month or eight month time frame. We feel like there could be $1 million in savings from the labor standpoint. The other thing is changing materials. For example, instead of using pre-cast concrete, we are looking at pouring slab on grade construction. Certain retaining walls, asphalt driveways, etc., could amount up to $150,000 saved. Using different material on the outside of the building that still gives us the same look but is more cost effective could be $400,000 saved. Those are the things.

Q: Are we able to establish a time frame at this point?

A: We discussed time frames, but we are still having to look at the revenue side of it. In the next two or three weeks, we hope to have that nailed down so it will be as fast as possible. But we have to do it right to get all the pieces in place as best we know them right now. Because once it is decided how it’s going to be done, we want to have a natural flow to it and get off the ground quickly.

Q: How have the figures changed in the budget?

A: That is not completely nailed down, but we are trying to get the construction cost under $16 million. Previously the bids were $18.8 million.

Q: What is the next step in the process?

A: The next step is to solidify our plan on the private seat licenses. We are working on that everyday with regard to documents and forms and trying to put a financing package together. We are trying to decide how to do that. It will probably take us two to three weeks to solidify a plan on that. Once that’s done then we’ll go out to the public, being those folks that have already committed to seats, and give them the option if they want to do this. If so, here is the plan and sell those seat licenses.

Our goal is to get this project done. Whether it fits a perfect time frame or not, it’s not going to deter us from getting the project done.