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Council Rejects Contractor Bids for Roxbury Park Community Center Upgrade

Residents voice concern over the size and scope of the project.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously from construction firms for a project that will revamp the and other park facilities. Community members who attended the council meeting expressed opposition to what they perceived as an overly ambitious project that will negatively impact the park.

The city has budgeted $14.7 million for the project, but the lowest bid submitted by W.E. O'Neil Construction Inc. totaled more than $16.8 million, prompting City Manager Jeff Kolin and staff members to recommend rejection. Two other firms also bid for the contract.

Plans for the project to modernize park facilities include "a multipurpose room that can function as a gym, community meeting rooms, a small satellite library, a kitchen for the senior nutrition program, exercise room, staff offices and other spaces for the community," Associate Project Manager Donielle Kahikina said in a presentation to council members. "Exterior improvements include upgrades to the maintenance building and yard, expanded parking lot, drainage improvements, a fire lane for fire-truck access to the park and some landscaping."

Council members agreed to reconsider the project through public feedback meetings led by the Recreation and Parks Liaison Committee, which includes Vice Mayor and Councilman Julian Gold. A community meeting likely will take place in January, Mayor Barry Brucker said.

"We'll get this right—something that is safe and clean, and of Beverly Hills quality," Brien said. "I can tell you right now, the existing facility is none of those three."

Beverly Hills resident Herb Young was one of several community members who spoke in opposition to the project.

"You've heard other speakers here say 'It's too big, it costs too much money, we don't want it,' " Young told the council. "Now we're going to have another community meeting. I'm glad to hear that you're doing it, but it sounds like it's somewhat redundant. We've gone through this before."

Young also said that council members .

"You have an agenda that you want what you want built regardless of what we, the people, are telling you," he said.

Brucker said that "it's important that we look at this with fresh eyes."

"Let's look at this as an opportunity to revisit, to scale back, to certainly meet the budget, of course, and also to listen and digest, and build a complementary product that the community can be proud of," the mayor said.

The existing Roxbury Park facilities were built in the 1950s "with periodic remodeling over the years—the last time in the 1980s," according to a statement released by the city.

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Barry Brucker December 08, 2011 at 07:37 PM
The Council’s unanimous vote to reject the Roxbury Park Community Center bid (due to it coming in over budget) gives the Community an opportunity to revisit the project with respect to scope, size, scale, programming and costs. With that, I have recommended and the Council approved the following: 1. In early January when everyone is back from the holidays we schedule a public meeting where the community can give input to the Council on the Roxbury project to include but not limited to any suggestions to revise the Roxbury plan to bring it within budget. 2. I will ask the Vice Mayor and Council Member Gold (former Rec &Parks Commissioners) who both currently serve as the Liaisons to the Recreation and Parks Commission to meet with City Staff, architects, Commission Chair Alan Block and his commission, community members and anyone else they feel appropriate to evaluate alternatives, revisions or modifications to the plan with the goal of bringing the project back for consideration and potential re-bid that falls within our budget constraints. 3. Any recommendation from the Liaison will be presented to the entire Council in an open forum where the public will again be invited to offer their input before any direction or vote is taken by the full Council in Open Session. Barry Brucker, Mayor

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