Rochester, MN (KROC AM News)  - “Everywhere we went we found a surprise.”  That’s what the Rochester Park Board was told Tuesday as it was briefed on the Rec Center/Senior Center project.  

The briefing came from Dale McCamish, who is overseeing the project for the Park Department. At the end of the briefing he informed the board the department will ask the City Council for more funding to cover numerous unexpected costs. The request will be for another $1.5 - $1.7 million.  That’s on top of the $22.3 million the city has already authorized. And the extra money takes into account a $600,000 contribution from the Senior Center, which had been asked earlier to help pay for a $1 million shortfall.  The money will come from the sale of the Center’s downtown parking lot to the city.

McCamish says a large part of the extra cost is due to the unexpected and huge amounts of asbestos and other material that had to be removed from the former landfill the new center is being built on. That extra cost is $800,000. Poor workmanship involving parts of the original Rec Center building and code issues added another $600,000 to the project’s cost. The net result is a project that will have an overall cost of around $25 million.

The surprises have also led to significant delays in the planned re-opening of the swimming pool and hockey locker rooms.

Members of the City Council were briefed on the problems prior to the Park Board meeting. The request is expected to be discussed by the Council at its Monday meeting.

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