Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

June 5, 2014

Bid-letting set for June 24

TONY HUFFMAN
Daily News

---- — TONY HUFFMAN

Daily News

One final hurdle remains in a long-awaited sports center.

“A lot of hard work is about to pay off,” said Effingham Park District President David McDevitt Wednesday.

McDevitt reported interest from local construction companies for a June 24 bid-letting to construct the Dr. Richard E. Workman Sports and Wellness Center, along with companies based out of St. Louis, Peoria, and Indianapolis.

“We anticipate a competitive bidding environment, and bids within the range of the project,” said McDevitt, adding construction firms are meeting at the Ron Diehl Center today to go over the specifics of the multimillion-dollar center.

McDevitt said the final hurdle to a groundbreaking is an appropriate bid.

“Short of a bid that greatly exceeds our expectations, this project is happening,” he said.

Assuming an appropriate bid is returned, the project will be awarded at the July 2 park district meeting.

“We hope to have a July 3 groundbreaking after awarding the bid July 2,” joked McDevitt, adding the project would commence as soon as the awarded construction company is ready.

Plans for the center include two basketball courts, three full-size volleyball courts and an aquatic center that will include two pools. One pool will be an eight-lane competitive pool, while the other will be a recreation/therapy pool. The facility will also feature a gym with weights and treadmills, a studio for various aerobic classes and an elevated walking track on the second level.

St. Anthony’s Wellness Center is slated to rent a space within the 60,000-square-foot center to house its physical and occupational therapy services.

The center will sit on a 22-acre property, at 1301 N. Maple St., northwest of the Effingham Kluthe Memorial Pool. A site plan, which included plans for a detention basin water runoff, 210 regular parking spots and seven handicapped spots and a landscape buffer to the south, was approved at last month’s Plan Commission meeting.

Tony Huffman can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, at tony.huffman@effinghamdailynews.com or on Twitter @EDN thuffman.