The Cost of This Neighborhood Center Nearly Doubled to $6 Million!

by • May 7, 2014 • Public Development, TremeComments (0)1626

Photo by Manuel Broussard via Fema.gov

Photo by Manuel Broussard via Fema.gov

The old Treme Center, which was damaged in Katrina, was rebuilt by the city and re-opened in April 2013.

The Treme Center, located behind Armstrong Park , is a recreation center with a pool, a basketball court, a dance studio, workout area and a stage for community performances.  Since it re-opened, the community center has become a neighborhood focal point used by people from all over the city, especially swimmers looking to take advantage of the heated, indoor pool.

But renovating the facility and getting it back into commerce has  been a nightmare of cost overruns, reports WWL-TV.

At the time of the ceremonial ribbon cutting in April 2013, the city estimated the cost of the project at $4.8 million. One year later, the price tag is now over $6 million and climbing.

For several weeks this spring, that pool was shut down as construction crews had to re-finish the concrete deck around it. It’s just one of a number of problems with the construction that have community members questioning the high cost and what they describe as poor quality renovations.

FEMA estimated the actual hurricane damage to be $403,000, and that’s what they ended up paying for the repairs.

So how did the price jump so high?  From the article:

Mayor Ray Nagin issued a contract in 2009 to architecture firm Hamilton-Anderson to design the repairs and oversee the Treme Center construction. That initial contract was for $198,000. Five contract amendments more than tripled their total payment to more than $600,000 by the end of the project.

Hamilton Anderson is the same architect behind the controversial job at the sculpture garden at Armstrong Park that left the park closed and in disarray for more than a year in 2010.

However, Nagin only issued the first contract amendment for Hamilton-Anderson, doubling its cost and extending the construction timeline just before he left office. The four other amendments were issued by the Landrieu administration.

Those unforeseen conditions also led the overall project costs to nearly double from about $3.5 million to more than $6 million and climbing.

After Landrieu took over the administration hired Icon Construction.  Work under their oversight also ran way over budget.  You can read the full article here.

 

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