Would You Spend $7,500 on an Outdoor Grill And Sink? No? Well Highland Park Planned to.

This is a grill. It most likely did not cost $7,500.

Since its town hall renovation project came in nearly $4 million over budget, Highland Park officials have stuck their brains together, trying to figure out ways to drop that cost.

On Tuesday afternoon, officials presented a list to councilmembers of “modifications” that, if implemented, would reduce the cost. Ready for some fun?

Upon first glance, there’s a lot of technical stuff that might change: $230,000 cranes, standard in lieu of custom wood moldings, the elimination of a conference room. We’ll get to that stuff. First, though, let’s talk about outdoor patios.

Jump with me, if you want to live:

Scanning through the documents, one specific change jumped out at me, because, I thought, “Sheesh, why is this in there to begin with?” That entry would be “Delete gas line, grill, stainless steel counter and sink at Terrace.” Estimated cost savings? $7,500.

Thinking back, I remembered the conversation. The terrace could be used for DPS officers and HP employees, for cookouts, hobnobs, bing-bongs, and whatever other shindigs they might have. Currently they have a grill on a rooftop, as you’ve seen in the above photo.

Now I realize, in an $18 million project, $7,500 isn’t the greatest sum. But make your own assessment.

As for the rest of the project, here are some of the rest of their proposed cuts, which could tally $1.25 million in savings:

  • reallocate fire alarm allowance in electrical package ($175,000)
  • take bids on fire alarm in lieu of DIR (Department of Information Resources) pricing ($80,000)
  • change quartz countertops to alternate material, except in restrooms ($20,000)
  • redesign sally-port gates to standard gates ($5,500) (they were originally going to have HP emblazoned on them, per town administrator Bill Lindley)
  • provide ceramic tile wainscot on wet walls/side walls of  restrooms, all other walls painted ($15,047)
  • Wood material alternates – red oak in lieu of white oak ($250,000) (Ed. note- Is this an entire forest of trees? $250,000 in savings?)
  • Standard in lieu of custom wood moldings ($100,000)
  • Delete tower crane requirement ($230,000)

That last one, though, brings a whole other cost-benefit analysis. Without the tower crane, the town runs the risk of losing its two old-growth trees in front of town hall. The cost to replace just one of those trees? $50,000.

Check out all the documents for yourself. I made a few notes in the margins during the meeting; hope you don’t mind.

HP Town Hall Renovations Packet

3 thoughts on “Would You Spend $7,500 on an Outdoor Grill And Sink? No? Well Highland Park Planned to.

  • May 31, 2012 at 11:55 am

    I actually think $7.500 isn’t a bad price if installation comes with it. Those grills can cost the price of a brand new car. Say what you will, but the shopped around and got a good bid anyway.

  • June 1, 2012 at 11:01 am

    Try a grill from Home Depot.. $150.00 or use the same grill in the picture. That could save a fast $7350.

    Will Beecherl seems to have some good ideas, maybe others should listen instead of rushing. Should not have signed the lease so fast until you lined your ducks up.

  • June 1, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Don’t cut corners!! Pay now or pay later. Look north.


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