New Zion Nature Center may be on hold

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By Mark Ambrogi

The Zionsville Parks and Recreation Dept. had plans to build a new Zion Nature Center near Heritage Trail Park.

When that will happen is now in doubt after the department reviewed bids to build the new facility at its Oct. 12 meeting.

“It appears all the bids came in above the consultants’ estimate,” said Matt Dickey, supt. of Zionsville Parks & Recreation.

Dickey will meet with the consultants soon to see why the bids came in higher than expected.

“There were four prime contracts, a bid on the 5,000-square-foot building itself,” Dickey said. “There was a bid on heating and air conditioning and plumbing. There was a prime contract for the electrical and one on the site work, such as outside grading, landscaping and painting. There were six bidders across those four primes. Some firms had multiple bidding. Some had just one in one case.”

Dickey said they will try to examine why the bids came in high in each area, and he said they have talked with other consultant firms they have worked with on other projects through the years.

“Everybody is busy out there, so there is not a lot of incentive for people to have sharp pencils,” Dickey said. “That might be part of what we find out from the consultant side, so this might not quite be the right year (to build).”

Dickey said they are examining what deductions might be worth taking if they decide to go ahead with building now.

“You have to decide now whether you build the project or not given what the numbers were, or would it benefit to wait and re-bid a little later when the firms aren’t so busy,” Dickey said.

The Zion Nature Center opened in 2002 in a building owned by Zionsville Community Schools.


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