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OV answers questions about estimated cost to build a new community center

January 29, 2015

For many years, Oro Valley residents have expressed a desire for a community center; however, the costs of building a center would require that the Town take on long-term debt in addition to creating a revenue source to fund the ongoing maintenance and operations of the center.

The opportunity to purchase the El Conquistador Country Club for $1 million, paid in cash over three years, would eliminate the need to take on long-term debt, but there are still questions about the estimated cost of constructing a new community center at Naranja Park, from the ground up, rather than repurposing the existing country club.

Prior to the opportunity of acquiring the existing El Conquistador Country Club, the Town attempted to begin development of Naranja Park, guided by the 2007 Naranja Park Master Plan. This plan included a proposed community center for $44 million. In 2008, voters rejected the bonds and associated secondary property tax that would have built Phase I of this Master Plan, which included fields, courts and much of the infrastructure necessary to build future phases of the plan to include a community center.

Presently, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB), working in conjunction with industry consultants, has been drafting a new plan to create an event center at Naranja Park, which scales back many of the elements contained within the first master plan.

It is important to note the difference between an “event center” and a “community and recreation center.” An event center is, in essence, a large shell or tent-style building void of elements that typically comprise a community and recreation center. The large shell can accommodate a variety of uses such as large concerts, vendor expositions and indoor sporting events. By comparison, a community and recreation center contains fixed elements such as meeting rooms, offices and exercise facilities.

A preliminary cost offered by the consultant working with PRAB on this concept placed the event center (the shell-type facility) at just over $7 million. The cost to construct a new community and recreation center would be in excess of $20 million.

The following cost breakdown is based on a concept design offered to PRAB, which incorporates typical features found in a community and recreation center, coupled with elements from the 2007 Naranja Park Master Plan.

Industry consultant McGann & Associates places the estimated construction cost at $13,500,000, or $250 per square foot, for a 54,000-square-foot facility. (This construction cost is in line with other recently-permitted, high-ceiling structures, such as St. Mark’s Church, which was $280 per square foot.) The concept design includes the following elements:
   o 25-foot-high center floor open gym space and bleachers for basketball/volleyball/indoor soccer/lacrosse
   o Offices, multipurpose/meeting rooms and functional spaces
   o Restrooms, locker rooms, kitchen, facility service and maintenance

In addition, there are several outdoor amenities associated with the main building, such as:
   o Eight (8) post tension concrete slab tennis courts: $740,000 (engineering estimate)
   o Four (4) post tension concrete slab basketball courts: $362,000 (engineering estimate)
   o Ramadas, shade structures, splash pads and exterior restrooms: $590,000 (actual cost)
   o Site construction and grading for 10 acres: $2,453,000

  •  Grading: $300,000 (actual cost at Naranja Park)
  •  Utilities – Sewer lift station: $500,000 (engineering estimate)
  •  Landscaping and event turf for five (5) acres: $623,000 (actual cost at Naranja Park)
  •  200 space parking lot and lighting: $430,000 (actual cost at Naranja Park and James D. Kriegh Park)
  •  Traffic improvements to Naranja Drive for increased traffic (creation of a two-way left turn lane from Calamondin Place to Monterra Vista Drive ): $600,000 (engineering estimate)

   o Twenty percent project contingency fund: $3,529,000 (based on $17,645,000 project cost)

Based on the above estimates, the total cost of the proposed community and recreation center is $21,174,000.

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