Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bank pays for naming rights to water park

FREMONT — The city's goal for its planned water park is to provide locals with old-fashioned summertime fun. But in order to pay for it, they have turned to that very modern solution — adding a corporate logo to its name.
Goodbye, Family Water Play Facility. Hello, "Fremont Bank Aqua Adventure."
That will be the official moniker for Fremont's long-planned water entertainment facility in Central Park — if the City Council approves it tonight.
In exchange, the Fremont Bank Foundation has pledged to donate
$1 million to the project's
$14,667,800 budget.
The park's corporate name is intended to honor the community contributions made by the bank's founder, Morris Hyman, and his wife, Alvirda Hyman, city officials said.
Morris Hyman, a former chairman of Fremont's Parks and Recreation Commission, was instrumental "in the creation and development of Central Park," said Fremont Bank Foundation President Hattie Hyman Hughes, also the Hymans' daughter.
Alvirda Hyman still lives in Fremont, bank spokesman Curt Olsen said. Morris Hyman died in 2005. The foundation is the charity arm of Fremont Bank.
Have residents complained about the corporate name?
"I have heard only positive things about it," Fremont Senior Landscape Architect Roger Ravenstad said. "I can't think of any reason why it's not a positive."
"The contribution from Fremont Bank will make this project a reality," Fremont Parks and Recreation Director
Annabell Holland said in a statement.
Formerly called the Family Water Play Facility, its designs includewater slides, children's play areas, picnic grounds and new water play areas, such as a lazy river. Plans call for it to be built on the southern edge of Central Park, on the former site of the Puerto Penasco Swim Lagoon, a water-oriented recreation area from 1969 to 2001.
It is expected to be open roughly three months each year — from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
City officials expect ground to be broken in four to six weeks. Its target opening date is Memorial Day 2009.
Council members also will vote tonight whether to accept the facility's lowest construction bid of $10.5 million, recently submitted by Sierra Bay Contractors Inc. The Concord-based company's bid is well below the lowest bid of $11.75 million submitted — and ultimately rejected — earlier this year.
City staff members are recommending that council members vote to give City Manager Fred Diaz the authority to issue project contract changes that exceed $100,000 without council approval — a change to the city's purchasing ordinance.
If approved, the total cost of allowable construction change orders to this project would be capped at 20 percent of the construction contract value — roughly $2.1 million.
The contract change orders are limited to funds within to the project's council-approved budget. The recommendation was made to expedite construction, "because if you have to go back to council for a change order, we would have to stop construction to get the change," Ravenstad said.
In addition, contingency funds of about $1.3 million will push the total construction tab to roughly $11.8 million.
"I'm not happy with the cost of it, but the costs aren't going to be any less over time," Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman said. "I think it will be a nice addition to the park."
The council also will decide tonight whether to increase its payment to Anchor Engineering Inc., a construction-management firm. The proposed contract figure now is $767,525, up nearly $200,000 from what the council approved in February.
That price increase is tied to the decision to change the construction period from 9 to 12 months, city officials said.
"We felt that the tighter construction periods contributed to higher bids," Ravenstad said. He pointed to Sierra Bay Contractors Inc.'s recent low bid, which is $1.254 million less than the previous round's lowest bid.
Increasing the construction time may cost an extra $200,000 with Anchor Engineering, but the city's net gain is roughly $1 million when factoring in Sierra Bay's lower numbers, Ravenstad added.
The project's remaining budget costs are tied to design, environmental and bid-process works, according to city officials.

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