The Fargo Park District Board of Commissioners tonight made key decisions on the two largest projects in district history. The Park Board voted unanimously/5-0 to approve the Fargo Sports Complex and Island Park Pool Project funding model as presented at tonight’s meeting by park district staff and authorize staff to work with the construction manager to solicit bids for the Fargo Sports Complex.
At last month’s board meeting, the Fargo Park Board directed staff to continue fundraising efforts to complete the project and/or present alternative funding solutions to complete the project. Since the October board meeting, staff has been working to develop renewed fundraising efforts and additional options for funding 2 major capital projects beginning in the 2022 fiscal year. These two projects include the Fargo Sports Complex and the Island Park Pool.
Since the board’s last meeting, staff have learned that construction escalation is estimated to be 10% over the next year, potentially increasing the costs of these two projects by $8.4 million if neither has secured pricing until fall 2022.
At tonight’s meeting, staff proposed a new funding strategy to minimize construction escalation and secure a gross maximum price (GMP) on the Fargo Sports Complex in January 2022. The new funding strategy will serve as a bridge to securing additional private donations toward the Fargo Sports Complex while potentially saving the Park District an estimated $7 million in construction costs.
Tonight’s decision identifies the estimated costs of 2 capital projects and a timeline for securing bids for the projects. The Fargo Sports Complex will secure a GMP in January 2022, estimated at $78.6 million. The Island Pool Project will secure bids in July 2022, estimated at $16.9 million. The total of the 2 projects is estimated at $95.5 million.
To date, total resources available to date for these 2 projects equal $78.5 million. This includes a mix of public funds and private donations. Administration has identified an additional $13.2 million through estimated 2021 general fund carryover and the ability to service additional debt, if necessary, without additional tax implications. That brings total funds available to $91.7 million.
Fundraising efforts continue to be ongoing, to reduce the burden on public funds for these projects. The Fargo Park District and the Fargo Park District Foundation are working together with staff to coordinate a public announcement regarding the fundraising campaign, design renderings of the facility and additional options for securing private donations and continued capital campaign. In making tonight’s decision, the board underscored the importance of the continued fundraising efforts.
“All hands are on deck as we continue fundraising efforts for this project,” shared Dave Leker, Fargo Park District Executive Director. “The plan proposed tonight compliments these important efforts by serving as a bridge from fundraising to construction while saving us money.”
Once opened, the Fargo Sports Complex is expected to benefit more than 13,000 kids in our community in its first year of operation and generate more than $5 million annually in direct spending. The project will include 1 full size indoor soccer turf field, 4 full sized basketball courts, administrative offices, Sanford Power, multipurpose community space and an indoor walking track.