The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is preparing to hold another bid process for construction of its first ever "destination park" in southern Iowa. The state rejected the bids for the components of the Honey Creek State Park project at the end of last month as they came in too high. Project manager Arnie Sohn says there were several factors that played into the failure of the first bid process.
Sohn says part of it was timing, as he says contractors had a lot of other jobs they were focusing. Sohn says there’s also a short construction time and some energy efficiency requirements that make it more difficult to bid on. Sohn says the D-N-R has been meeting with architects and contractors and talking about ways to get a better bid. He says they’ll look at the materials and specifications and possibly modifying the design to bring the cost down a little bit.
The plans for the facility that’ll be located on Lake Rathbun call for a 108-room lodge, conference center, indoor aquatic center, 18-hole golf course and 28 family and group cabins. Sohn says cutting the project into more phases is an option, but one they have to look at carefully. Sohn says if they do cut it into more phases, they still have to be able to see that they’ll have enough finances to finish the job. Sohn says they’d like to get the new bidding done as soon as possible to keep construction on time.
Sohn says every week or month that’s added on jeopardizes the possibility of getting it done by Memorial Day of 2008. Sohn says they will look and see if delaying the opening will help cut the cost of the facility if needed. The state approved 28 million dollars in bonds as the main funding for the project.