An Austin-based company claimed the winning bid earlier this month for construction and renovations to Buda City Park, a crucial step that paves the way for the city’s most ambitious parks project to date.
On Dec. 4, the Buda City Council approved an agreement between The Barr Company and the city for the $5.35 million bid to renovate City Park. The improvements are part of Proposition 5 of the $55 million Buda bond, which was approved by voters in 2014.
According to city officials, the city received two bids for the project and accepted the lowest bidder.
The Buda City Park renovations project, which calls for a performing arts amphitheater, splash pad and open recreational space, is estimated to cost around $6,583,776. However, the city still estimates a $1,256,000 shortfall, which will be covered by “other means,” according to city documents.
The overage stems from an item titled “Option Three,” which are five alternatives approved by city leaders, but were not included in the $5.35 million bid.
Those alternatives include a roof over the amphitheater, a backstage dressing room for performers, an electrical trench for lighting and sound and lighting along fences and sidewalks.
“We still have around $4.8 million remaining from Proposition 5, which was approved by voters in 2014,” said David Marino, public information officer for the City of Buda. “So we do have to make up the difference. Additionally, money will be reallocated internally through other funds for the shortfall.”
Buda Parks and Recreation Director Greg Olmer said the city is actively looking for sponsorships for the park, which will include naming rights to the splash park and amphitheater. Olmer said obtaining sponsorships could help to offset the shortfall.
The renovation to the City Park is part of a larger effort to connect the city’s extensive parkland network, as outlined in the 2014 Parks Master Plan. City officials estimate connecting it all will take time to complete.
In 2016, Buda city leaders used funds from Proposition 5 to purchase the John D. and Byrd Mims Garison Memorial Park.
“When you drive to downtown Buda you can’t help but notice the beautiful park, and we want to draw attention and showcase our great amenities,” Olmer said. “This project will fulfill that. We have a lot of great amenities planned for this park that everyone can utilize. In addition to the playground, amphitheater and splash park, we will have extensive green space for recreational use.”
According to city officials, The Barr Company is sending letters of intent to subcontractors while the city enters its legal phase when signing contracts.
Construction is estimated to begin early in 2019. The overall time frame of the project will be around ten to 12 months, weather permitting.