Subscribe | E-Editions | River News 75Ę | Super Shopper - FREE | About Us | Contact Us | FREE Classified Ė Items Under $50
The Northwoods River News | Rhinelander, Wisconsin

Flanders Realty Group

home : news : city news
November 14, 2019

10/17/2019 7:29:00 AM
School board selects firm to manufacture sports dome

Jamie Taylor
River News Reporter

The School District of Rhinelander took another big step toward its goal of building what is to be known as the Hodag Sports Complex Monday when the school board accepted a $1.89 million dollar bid from a St. Louis firm to manufacture the air-supported dome that will be the centerpiece of the complex.

In June, the board voted to earmark up to $5.7 million from the general fund for the dome project and agreed on the concept of a sports complex. The complex will feature two softball fields and an outdoor practice field for football and soccer.

According to RHS softball coach D.J. DeMeyer, coaches around the state are following Rhinelander's progress and are hoping to use the sports complex in the future. While at a fall softball tournament in Beloit this past weekend, DeMeyer said he was approached by coaches interested in Rhinelander's project.

"Two different coaches from two different towns asked about this dome and when can we play in it?" DeMeyer told the school board. "Just so you know, it's the talk all over the state. They are very interested in coming up and playing ball in the dome."

John Kneer, president of Rettler Corp., the firm the district hired to oversee the construction of the sports complex, explained the bid process and explained the three bids the district received.

"Just to walk you through the process, a few weeks ago, we put a request for bids out to four dome companies," Kneer said. "We received three bids, so we're very pleased with that. We had performance specifications, a very detailed 120-page or so that they (the companies) got to go with the very detailed front-end specifications for the dome itself."

As a result, he said over the course of the two-week bidding window, Rettler received very few questions as to what the project entails.

The bids were opened Oct. 9 in the administrative offices, he added.

"We found a very very tight bid, which is great. In my mind that shows us that each dome manufacturer understood the product that was desired by the school district and bid accordingly," Kneer said.

There was a difference of only $40,000 between the three bids. Yeardon Domes of Minnesota submitted a bid of $1,929,930 while ASATI of New York submitted a $1,906,360. Arizon Building Systems' bid of $1,890.881 was the lowest bid.

"Each builder was able to qualify their bids and show the experience necessary to provide and install (the dome) here in Rhinelander," Kneer said, noting that Rettler has worked with Arizon on the dome structure at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

"So we have direct experience with them," Kneer said before recommending the board accept their bid.

The bid price Arizon submitted included a "voluntary alternative" for the dome to be manufactured with a skylight roof that would allow natural light to pass through.

"I feel there are a lot of benefits to that and I feel it is a very worthwhile addition to the dome," Kneer said. "It lets natural light in, allowing you to turn the lights off during the daytime, during the summer hours in particular. It does provide a very nice environment for the users of the dome to experience the natural light."

He said the alternative was added to the amount the company bid on the "base bid" which resulted in the final bid.

Yeardon offered a deduction of $60,000 for building the attachment where the dome would connect to the new concession stand at Mike Webster Stadium as an alternative. ASATI offered to include an automation system and batting cages for $19,320. more.

All the bids also included a $70,000 signage provision, which would allow the district to place the Hodag logo on the side of the dome. Kneer also said the bid package was specific as to what shade of green would be used on the dome.

"We called each of the vendors and made sure they had custom colors included in their bid," Kneer said.

Kneer was asked what was included with the bid.

"It's the dome itself, the cables, the anchors, the aluminum anchor trench that goes at the base of the grade beam, that is all going to be supplied by the dome manufacturer," he said.

Kneer said the air handling units, fans and other mechanical portions of the dome will be bid out in the next round of bids in December. This bid package will also include the installation of the grade beam and the earth moving portion of the entire project. The artificial turf, batting cages, nets, the running tracks and other interior features will also be part of the second bid package.

All three bids discussed Monday came in under what the district had budgeted for that portion of the total project, he added.

Estimates place the total cost of the dome at around $4.5 million when the rest of the components are sent out for bids in December.

In addition to the $5.7 million allocated by the board, the Rhinelander Schools Foundation has raised a total of $1.65 million in private donations, some of which is earmarked specifically for the dome project.

Board member Mike Roberts said the manufacturer of the dome will also design the grade beam, which anchors the dome to the ground.

"They're (manufacturers) all a little different," Roberts said.

The board voted 8-0 to accept Arizon's bid.

Also on the agenda Monday was to accept the bid for relocating the discus and shot put area at Mike Webster Stadium, which will allow RHS to host the track regionals next spring.

"This project also bid in the same time frame (as the dome)," Kneer said. "We feel, from the standpoint of budgeting, that they (bids) came in significantly higher from what we want to see for a shot/discus project."

The time of the year and the ambitious goal of getting that part of the project done this fall were factors that likely elevated the price by between $20,000 and $40,000 over what was budgeted, he explained.

Kneer said the plan is to rebid the project in December, at the same time as the bigger package, and award the winning bid in January with construction to get under way at the same time as the dome in the spring. If work can begin in March or April, he said it could be completed by mid-May. This would mean the regionals will still be able to be hosted at the stadium.

District superintendent Kelli Jacobi recommended the board reject the two bids, which the members did by unanimous vote.

Kneer said there is a lot of interest among construction companies for the work that will be bid out in December/January.

"We got a lot of calls," he said. "The bidder's list for the shot/discus was over 15 general contractors. They thought it was the big one."

The board also decided to postpone the groundbreaking ceremony, which was originally scheduled for Oct. 29, to sometime in spring so that the work will start immediately after the ceremony.

Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, and meet the comment guidelines (see "Comment Guidelines" at right). There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search
search sponsored by

Subscription Login

Today's Circulars
Print-N-Save Coupons
Order photo reprints

Advertising Information

Community Connections
Submit to Newspaper...

Ced Vig's books for sale
Kris Gilbertson's 'I Recall...'

Relay for Life

Reader Poll

Do you agree with the School District of Rhinelanderís decision to dismiss football coach Chris Ferge?

Please select one:
I have no opinion.

View Results
Reader Poll

Which of the following best describes your reaction to the Republicans move to curtail the power of Governor-elect Tony Evers and Attorney General-elect Josh Kaul?

Please select one:
I have no issue with it. Itís a normal part of todayís politics.
Itís unconscionable, but Iím confidant the courts will overturn the bills.
Iím OK with it as long as both parties are allowed to do it.
I have no opinion on this question.

View Results
Reader Poll

Which City of Rhinelander elected officials should be recalled?

Please select one:
All of them. The mayor and the entire Common Council.
I would recall the council but keep the mayor.
I would recall the mayor but keep the council.
Everyone but alderman Emmer, as he was just appointed.
Frederickson, Sauer, Holt, Rossing and Larson.
Rog, Kirby and Kelly.

View Results
Reader Poll

Do you support so-called red flag bills which would allow judges to seize people's firearms for up to a year if they pose a threat to themselves or others?

Please select one:
I donít know enough about red flag bills to offer an opinion.
I have no opinion on this question.

View Results
Reader Poll

Televised impeachment hearings are scheduled to begin later this month. Do you plan to watch?

Please select one:
I would if I could but my schedule does not allow for it.
I have no idea at this point.

View Results
Reader Poll

In light of the city's recent update on well testing, which of the following best describes your thoughts regarding use/consumption of city water?

Please select one:
I feel completely confident in allowing my family to consume the water.
The latest results are somewhat reassuring but I still have concerns.
I remain very concerned about the safety of the city's water.
I'm still not sure what to think about the water.
I have no opinion on this question.

View Results

Facebook | All Things | Wisconsin Lottery | The Lakeland Times - affiliate | Winter Road Conditions | Snow/Trail Conditions

The Northwoods River News | Walker Communications, LLC
232 S. Courtney Street, Rhinelander, WI 54501 | Office (715) 365-6397 | Fax (715) 365-6361

Corporate billing office: The Lakeland Times / Lakeland Printing Inc. | P.O. Box 790, Minocqua, WI 54548 | (715) 356-5236 | Fax (715) 358-2121
Members of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, Wisconsin Community Papers, Rhinelander Area Chamber of Commerce, Minocqua Area Chamber of Commerce

Site Design and Content | Copyright 2019 1up!

Software © 1998-2019 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved