The Woodward News

Local News

February 6, 2013

City moves forward on softball project

Timberlake hired as construction manager

Woodward, Okla. — The old softball facilities at Crystal Beach Park will soon be demolished to make way for new fields.

During their regular meeting Monday, Feb. 4, Woodward City Commissioners approved a resolution declaring the softball facilities as surplus so that the facilities could be dismantled and "disposed of accordingly as scrap metal," the resolution states.

The city commissioners then approved hiring Timberlake Construction to serve as the construction management firm to oversee the building of a new softball complex at the park.

City Manager Alan Riffel said Timberlake would be hired on an "at risk" basis. As such, he said the city will set a certain budget for constructing the new softball facilities, which Timberlake "will have to come in on or they will bear the risk for going over."

As construction manager, Timberlake will "be the city's eyes and ears on the project," Riffel said. Timberlake will be responsible for assigning a project superintendent who will oversee subcontractors "to ensure that the timeliness and quality of the project is properly adhered to," he said.

The city manager said that Timberlake was selected for the softball project "because of the positive relationship with Timberlake and the positive outcome" that the city saw when the firm previously served as the construction manager for the Conference Center.

"The Conference Center was the first time the city had taken a construction management approach on a project," Riffel said.  "And Timberlake worked well in helping the project come in on time, ahead of time actually, and on budget.  Which was a much different outcome than the city had seen with previous construction contracts."

Riffel explained why the city didn't go through a bid process before considering Timberlake for the softball project.

"Because this is for a professional service, like for an attorney or architect, there is no requirement for a bid process for a construction manager," Riffel said.

He said bidding comes into play after the construction manager is engaged, as part of Timberlake's responsibilities will include "to see that bids are properly submitted."

Commissioner Bill Fanning questioned whether Timberlake would "let local companies know when bidding comes up?"

Riffel responded by saying "absolutely" and said that "several" local companies were involved with the Conference Center project.

According to the employment agreement, Timberlake will receive 2 types of compensation in connection with the softball project.  The first will be a $10,000 lump sum fee for pre-construction services, which will include consulting with the city and architect on constructibility of the project, availability of material and labor, time requirements, and possible cost reductions, as well as the development of a guaranteed maximum price for the project.  The second payment will be a 6 percent fee based on the total construction costs.

After approving the agreement, Commissioner Steve Bogdahn asked about the estimated project timeline.

Riffel said that "demo will begin very soon" on the current facilities, with bids for construction of the new facilities to be let around mid- to late-March.

"We're looking for construction to begin probably in April," he said, noting that he "expect(s) about 6 months" for completion of the project.

He said the main goal of the project timeline is to "get the grass in during the growing season."

Because of that, the city manager said "there'll be no playing on the location during this summer."  With the Crystal Beach softball fields out of commission, he said that other spaces at Lions Park will be made available for use for the 2013 season.

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