Council can award park contract

City Council today will have the opportunity to award a contract for construction of a spray park and other work at Memorial Park in Juniata, according to an item in the council agenda.

The low bidder among 10 was Mid-State Construction of Altoona, whose bid was $824,000.

The company could begin work in April, and the spray park could open toward the end of summer “if everything falls into place,” said Mike Hofer, executive director of the Central Blair Recreation & Park Commission.

“August 1 is a good target,” he said.

A $318,000 grant from the land and water conservation fund of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, a $71,000 grant from U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-9th District, flipped from its original purpose as funding for a now-scrapped skatepark project and $535,000 from a $1 million City Council recreation bond will pay for the project.

The Mid-State bid was a little higher than estimates, probably because of inflation since the estimates were made at least two-and-a-half years ago, Hofer said.

The project will comprise a rehabilitation of the park, including installation of new playground equipment, installation of perimeter fencing around the playground, resurfacing of the basketball courts, new sidewalks and curbs, resurfacing of the parking lot, lighting upgrades, park benches, picnic tables, canopy shades, an additional pavilion and accessibility upgrades to transition areas.

There will be a separate bid opening Friday for accessibility upgrades to the bathhouse, to be paid for by bond funds.

Aspects of the project are required by current codes, he said.

The biggest challenge with the project will be getting the equipment on-site because it takes eight to 12 weeks after ordering, he said.

Hofer expects all the work would be done when the spray park opens.

Earlier this year, the commission demolished the old pool, which is on the site of the proposed spray park, using bond money.

The total project will cost $875,000 to $900,000, according to Hofer.

There will be between $100,000 and $150,000 left from the bond when the project is completed, Hofer estimated.

There are plenty of recreational needs on which to use that money, Hofer said.

Previously, the commission spent bond money to demolish the Juniata pool, to refurbish the gym floor at the Sixth Ward Recreation Center; to replace the old gym floor at the East Juniata Recreation Building; to replace the dugouts at Geesey Park; and to make improvements to the Prospect Pool complex, including rehabilitation of the bath house, construction of a pavilion and concession stand and new picnic tables and lounge chairs.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.