The Harlan Community School District has approved a contract to develop and design the new Merrill Field. During their meeting Monday, the board of education agreed to a contract with FEH Associates out of Sioux City. The Harlan Community Education Foundation gifted the school district $600,000 during the board meeting. The Foundation has collected $950,000 in the bank for the $1.5 million project. However, the rest of the money has been donated but not collected. Superintendent Justin Wagner said the rest of the donations are guaranteed by a local bank. “The Education Foundation has taken out a loan, which it can do, with Farmer’s Trust and Savings and what it does is the bank guarantees the additional pledges that are still hanging out there.”
The $600,000 was given at the moment because that’s what the school can liquidate and that money will be set inside the school’s coffers and accounts in the next 7 to 10 days. Now that the money is close at hand, the board approved the contract with the designer FEH to get the drawings and specifications completed for the project. Wagner and other school officials met with the designer earlier on Monday to discuss the contract before presenting it to the board.
The contract states FEH Associates will be responsible for the overall coordination of the project, field verification as well as construction documents such as demolition around the bleacher areas, bleacher replacement and new fencing around the track. EDA Inc, Sundquist Engineering and Midwest Tennis and Track are also named as contractors for the Merrill Field renovation project. Each entity is in charge of certain aspects such as the field lighting, new drainage system and the entire track and field area. The Harlan Community School district will be responsible for the scoreboard installation, new ticket booth and coordinate site drainage issues with the City of Harlan.
Wagner told the board the designer fee is normally around 5 percent of the whole project and the contract states FEH Associates fee will not exceed $100,000. He said the actual design plans and specs will come at the December 20th school board meeting. The final say on the design will ultimately be approved by the school district but Wagner said the education foundation hopes to give a recommendation to the board.
Wagner says in the next 60 days or so the school board should see the plans and design, determine the cost and move forward with bids. The school district plans to begin the project on March 1st, 2014.