City awards contract for new lifeguard tower

DEL MAR — Work should begin soon to replace the deteriorating lifeguard headquarters with the new 17th Street beach safety center after council members awarded a construction contract to EC Constructors Inc. at a Sept. 19 meeting.
In response to a request for proposals issued in August, City Engineer Tim Thiele said the city received six “very competitive” bids that were about 17 percent lower than the architect’s estimate. They ranged from $2,071,958 from EC Contractors to $2,803.983.
Work will include demolishing the existing building and public restrooms, constructing the new safety center, sea wall and drainage culvert and parking lot improvements.
The total estimated cost for the project is almost $2.67 million. The bid from EC Contractors doesn’t include a 10 percent contingency or funds for inspection services and mobilization for temporarily relocating lifeguards during construction.
It also doesn’t include $210,000 already spent for design development, construction documents and a soils report, as well as $66,000 for administration costs and a redesign for the drainage gutter.
The project is being paid for with a windfall from the sale of a city-owned lot on Balboa Avenue, a Coastal Conservancy grant, city funds and donations from Friends of the Powerhouse.
“We’re very excited about this moving forward,” Barbara Harper, president of Friends of the Powerhouse, said. “We still have ongoing fundraising. We’re selling bricks and still have naming opportunities.”
The group has pledged to provide $700,000, which represents about one-third of the construction cost, as well as one-third of the 10 percent contingency, or around $70,000.
Friends of the Powerhouse gave the city $160,000 in January and $180,000 at the Sept. 19 meeting. Additional payments will be made in January and April 2012.
Funding from the group was listed inaccurately in the Sept. 19 meeting staff report. It is scheduled for clarification at the Oct. 3 meeting, Mark Delin, assistant city manager, said.
“The Friends have crafted an agreement that basically pledges the money to come forth,” Delin said. “Should it for some reason not come forth the city would be responsible for the remaining funding of the project.”
Harper said she didn’t want people to think fundraising efforts were complete “and we didn’t need any more money or that they didn’t have a chance to still give some and get their name on a building, on a brick, on anything.”
“Now that we’re so close I’m sure there are a lot of people who would like to do this final push and be represented on the new building,” she said.
The current lifeguard facility, built in 1964, has structural cracks, a cramped room that serves as both an administrative meeting room and first aid station and a ladder that provides access to the second floor.
The shower and locker room are used by men and women and the restroom does not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new 2,644-square-foot facility is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Oct. 3. The project is expected to be complete by June 2012.

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