At $746K, Park Arthur Pavilion Costs too Much to Swallow

Estimates for what it will take to build a heated pavilion at Muskego's Park Arthur has park board swallowing hard, but asking for alternatives to rein in cost

You could easily build several nice homes for $746,000, so hearing that cost for just one pavilion at Park Arthur had Park Board members stunned, and ultimately unwilling to approve them. Original budget costs had set aside $300,000 for the project.

Susan Becker with Graef Design came back to the table to present a list of the needed items to make a four-season pavilion a possibility, and while the structure itself wasn't too far over budget, the needed systems to provide sewer, water and heat sent costs soaring.

The largest portion of the $746,000 was in running sewer lines from Martin Drive, a distance of about 1,000 feet. The basic need of having running toilets drove that cost of $280,000, but as discussion ensued, board members asked Parks Director Craig Anderson to follow up with Dave Simpson, Director of Public Works, to see what an alternative mound system would cost.

Toby Whipple, board president, summed up the next steps in asking Anderson and Becker to get firmer costs through a bidding process, explaining: "We can always reject the bids, and we should explore alternatives to sewer laterals as well as alternatives for heating and the pavilion space itself."

Permanent bathrooms deemed necessary

At first, Alderman Dan Soltysiak asked board members whether they wanted flush bathrooms or not, as that presented the greatest cost. However, everyone agreed that as the park was designated to be active year-round, permanent bathrooms had to be a part of a pavilion.

"This was designed to be the go-to park in Muskego, and if you're going to put it together, you've got to do it right," said board member Butch LeDoux.

"It's a bit of a 'gulp' moment looking at these costs, but this facility has the opportunity to help the park become the crown jewel and attract families to Muskego," added member Paul Peardon. "It's not the number we wanted to hear, but it's got to be done right."

Anderson added that grant monies were coming into the department to offset costs on other projects, like the Boxhorn launch, but only represented $115,000.

Board members asked Becker to begin the bidding process to see if closer-to-actual costs would provide a more pleasant surprise, and also asked her to consider a design that would allow for phasing in different features in the structure, like heat and concessions.

Peardon also said he would look to outside groups for their interest in investing in the pavilion to further cover the costs. He stated that large tournaments, if held on all of the park's four fields, could bring in substantial cash for the park to pay for the pavilion over the next several years.

"I'm a father who's sat through six or seven games over a Saturday and Sunday during tournaments, and spent about $200, so these events do bring in money, and also people from outside the city who take a look at the park and want to move here," he said.

Anderson reminded the board as well that the desire was to make the pavilion available for year-round use, as the popularity of the sledding hill was apparent this winter, and a future ice skating rink would also draw patrons to the park. Having a heated place with concessions could allow visitors to stay longer and make greater use of the park.

Speaking for the Common Council, Soltysiak told the board it would be unlikely that the council would approve spending the money, which would be 150 percent over budget. He asked for the building that would house bathrooms only be listed as an individual line item.

Paul Peardon April 10, 2013 at 12:24 PM
Indeed the MAA is contributing $145,000.00 towards the building of the (3) Little League fields. Youth and Civic organizations have committed over $225,000 to the Park Arthur project.
Denise Konkol April 10, 2013 at 11:59 PM
I have to say I'm impressed with the follow-through of the MAA and Muskego Warriors Youth Baseball to bring many of these amenities to the park. I like that private organizations help to take ownership of this or any park, as I think it helps them all thrive.
Mary C. Steinbauer April 12, 2013 at 06:02 PM
Would it be possible to have private vendors pay for this pavillion and who will be billed for the upkeep , hopefully without vandalism?
Mr Lundt April 14, 2013 at 04:14 PM
How were the costs not properly accounted for up front? It seems there are both cost overruns and massive additional costs that were never considered at the beginning. This seems like a colossal boondoggle run by incompetent--albeit well meaning people.
The Anti-Alinsky April 14, 2013 at 05:26 PM
Mr Lundt, this IS up front. Nothing has been built yet. The article said they are getting bids and getting more details.


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