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City Council hears update on Wellness Center construction

The Wadena City Council held a special meeting from Dec. 10 to hear an extensive update on the progress of the Wellness Center construction from Kraus-Anderson project manager Chad Rettke, architects Steve Miller and Michael Brandt, and construction site supervisor Brandon Larken.

The update included a discussion of 25 potential change orders for the project. So far, no change orders have been requested, but Kraus-Anderson personnel wanted to be sure that the council was aware of the possibilities. In response, the council voted to give City Administrator Brad Swenson authority to approve change orders up to $30,000 each that might be requested between monthly council meetings.

Chad Rettke presented Kraus-Anderson's recommendation for the award of a contract for external metal panels. Four bidders responded, but one withdrew its bid. The low bidder was then Innovative Building Concepts LLC, of Bloomington, Minnesota, with a bid of $106,700.

Rettke, Miller, and Brandt led a discussion of 20 value engineering opportunities to reduce costs of the construction project. The council voted to approve all 20 changes, for an estimated reduction of $217,060 in project costs. The project personnel assured the council that none of the changes would increase the building's operating costs, reduce safety, or change other important outcomes of the project.

The architects then led a discussion of samples of flooring, wall colors, ceramic tile colors, and other finishes that need to be chosen. Miller and Brandt told the council that no decisions needed to be made immediately, but that the council should be aware of how many decisions of this type need to be made. Miller promised to make some design suggestions and return to a future council meeting with a storyboard or power point showing his color and design suggestions for the building.

After a break, the project personnel informed the council that the Wellness Center is right on target with the budget, and that after tonight's vote to reduce costs through value engineering choices, the project would be under budget by about $209,000.

A completion date of October 2014 is projected for the building.