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Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch Riders throw tricks during a Shug Inc. jam session on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017, at the Harris Riverfront Park skate park in Huntington.

HUNTINGTON - Members of Huntington City Council's Recreation Committee approved a contract Monday night to begin the second phase of construction of the skate park at Harris Riverfront Park.

Final approval is still needed from the full City Council, which could take up the matter during its Jan. 28 meeting at the earliest.

Committee members agreed to award a contract to Landcore Builders LLC of Milton to complete the second phase construction at the skate park for $220,528. The second phase will build 2,500 square feet of new skateable surface, including a quarter pipe and a volcano. Work must be completed by June 30.

Work on this phase was supposed to be finished by October, but was delayed because the previous winning contractor, Nehemiah Construction of Barboursville, moved on to another project.

Nehemiah Construction had agreed to retain their winning contract for 60 days. However, the length of the committee process and the date of City Council's final approval went beyond the 60-day holding time, leading Nehemiah Construction to drop out. As a result, City Council changed its rules to require contractors to hold on to their winning bids for 90 days.

The project was rebid and closed at the end of December with the selection of Landcore Builders LLC, said Scott Lemley, executive director of the city's Department of Planning and Development.

Nehemiah Construction had previously won the contract with a proposal of $147,000, which is approximately $73,528 less than the bid of Landcore Builders. Lemley said he believes one of the reasons Nehemiah Construction wanted out of the project is because they underestimated its cost.

Part of the construction is also being paid for with federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding previously allocated and approved by council.

City Council members will need to allocate more funding for the final phase of construction, to be completed sometime after the second phase. This will see the addition of a bowl, which is basically an empty swimming pool for skateboarders to perform tricks. Construction on the skate park began in 2014.

The project previously received a $5,000 grant from Tony Hawk Foundation and also received some money raised by the city's skater community.

"We have three kinds of funding streams to finish off this project," Lemley said.

Travis Crum is a reporter for The Herald-Dispatch. He may be reached by phone at 304-526-2801.

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