Fargo Sports Complex bids come in $1 million lower than expected

Board approves contracts, with work slated to start in April or early May.

FARGO — Fargo Park Board commissioners approved bids about $1 million below estimates to construct the indoor Fargo Sports Complex in south Fargo starting this spring.

The bids totaled $77.6 million, coming from 34 subcontractors under the direction of McGough Construction Co., which has an office in Fargo and built the city’s highest building downtown when constructing the RDO tower.

The construction of the indoor facility that will hold a turf soccer field, five basketball and volleyball courts, an indoor track, community rooms and new administrative offices for the park district will start in mid-April to May, according to Park District Executive Director Dave Leker.

It’s estimated it will take two years to construct the district’s largest ever project in the newly developing area in southwest Fargo near Interstate 29 and 45th Street.

Park Commissioner Jerry Rostad said the board has made a number of big decisions over the past months but that awarding the bids “makes it a reality.”

“It’s a momentous day,” he said. “This is a great day for Fargo.”

Park District Foundation Director Brian Arett also announced a matching $1 million donation from an anonymous Fargo couple and urged residents to donate now and through Giving Hearts Day on Feb. 10.

“This generous donor would like to inspire others to join them in supporting this highly impactful project,” said Arett.

The matching gift would boost the private funds raised so far to about $26 million, which is about $12 million short of the goal of $38 million for an even 50/50, public/private split on the construction.

Arett said the facility will provide year-round recreational opportunities each year for more than 13,000 local kids and more than 20 local sporting organizations.

The building is also expected to draw nearly 600,000 visitors to the city each year for tournaments and other events in the massive destination facility. More than 40 community events are also expected to be held in the building.

The approved bids include $68.2 million to construct the building and landscaping, $8.8 million for furnishings and fees and about $564,500 in alternate bid additions.

Leker carefully went through the alternate bid additions, which he said were vetted with staff, McGough Construction, architects and some commissioners to make sure they made sense.

Park Commissioner Joe Deutsch said doing some of the alternate work now such as acoustics for the courts, painting parts of the metal structure to prevent rust and completing a planned second-floor fireplace would save money in the long run, rather than having to do it later.

Polished concrete floors and a higher quality turf for the soccer and indoor field were also added, again saving on maintenance costs in the future.

There were a total of 34 companies winning bids for parts to the project, including some major local contractors.

Some of those winning the larger bids were BDT Mechanical of Fargo for $8.8 million in one of the most competitive bids, Gateway Building Systems of West Fargo for the pre-engineered metal building for $8.4 million, Bergstrom Electric of Fargo for $5.2 million, Mid America Steel of Fargo for the structural steel supply for $4.5 million, Earthwork Services of West Fargo for site preparation and utilities for $3.3 million and McGough Construction for carpentry, millwork, doors and other specialties for $2.5 million.

Board President Vicki Dawson said there were a few of the 34 bid categories that went uncontested. Oliver Finneman, director of preconstruction for McGough, said the bids were all in line with expectations and that labor shortages meant some companies were hesitant to take on too much work.