At the Siesta Beach renovations worksite, Sarasota County taxpayer dollars are doing something unusual — they’re going further than expected.
Siesta Beach renovations are projected to cost less than expected, which allows the project manager to consider adding elements to the project, based on a ranked list of options the County Commission approved last year.
Sarasota County Public Works Project Manager Brad Gaubatz said initial cost projections indicate there will be enough money leftover to include two and perhaps three additional options to the $21.5 million project.
The four-phase, two-year Siesta Beach Park Improvement Project will add parking at Siesta Beach; revamp and expand the beach pavilion and restroom facilities; add a new east concession and restroom area; and make the park more environmentally friendly.
The price of the project is fixed, preventing any possible cost overruns, but also requiring the county to spend every dollar it allocated for the project.
When cost estimates put the project $375,303 below its allotted price tag in August, project managers presented county commissioners with a list of eight optional additions to round out the already set aside $21.5 million. (See sidebar, right.)
Project managers were able to pick up options one and two — dune walkovers and a new west pavilion —when the contract was signed in October.
At a Feb. 6 Siesta Key Association meeting, Gaubatz announced that his staff was eyeing the inclusion of two more optional add-ons from the commission-approved list due to additional cost savings.
“It's good news,” Gaubatz said. “It's very good news.”
Options three and four include upgraded tree species at the park and 10 additional two-pole shelters — coming in at a combined price of $332,780. Gaubatz added that there might even be enough money left over to include portions of option five —an upgraded esplanade.
“It isn't accurate to say the project is coming in under budget,” Gaubatz said, explaining the the guaranteed maximum-price contract. “The cost of the contract isn't changing, but we may be able to pick up more options for the same amount of money we have always intended to spend.”
The rules of the guaranteed maximum-price contract obligate the contractor to cover any expenses exceeding the project's $21.5 million budget.
“The contractor works hard to not exceed that budget,” Gaubatz said.
“Otherwise, they won't be in business for very long.”
Original list of ranked and approved options
1. Dune walkovers $214,500
2. West pavilion $241,697
3. Ten additional two-pole shelters $142,780
4. Park tree size and species upgrade $190,000
5. Upgrade esplanade concrete to standard pavers $124,609
6. Concrete paving at maintenance yard $86,130
7. Covered maintenance building $73,689
8. Parking lot tree size and species upgrade $140,000
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