St. Peter pavilion latest concept.jpg

A rendering by Oleson + Hobbie Architects shows what Minnesota Square Park's pavilion in St. Peter could look like once completed. The City Council approved the project Monday, finalizing plans which will replace the existing pavilion with a new one nearly double its size. Rendering courtesy of Oleson + Hobbie Architects

ST. PETER — St. Peter’s Minnesota Square Park Pavilion project remains on track for late summer completion, provided Mother Nature brings spring on time.

The City Council approved phase two of the project Monday, setting the stage for electrical, masonry and additional construction to commence at the site.

A prompt spring start to construction could ensure the new pavilion is in place for Rock Bend Folk Festival. The city’s timeline is intentionally set up to accommodate the festival, one of St. Peter’s largest annual events.

The phase two bids add up to $826,290, pushing the total estimated cost for the project to nearly $1.68 million. Certain portions of the project aren’t included in phase two because no construction bids came in for them. The city will continue to pursue bids for the remaining portions as construction nears.

Phase two will further cut into the project’s contingency costs. Council member Edward Johnson asked about the project’s chances of staying on budget and being completed on time.

Eric Baarts of Robert W. Carlstrom, the general contractor for the project, said he felt the city was still in a good position. While portions of the project only garnered one bid, he said the ones that did come in were competitive and the winning bidders are hopeful they can complete the work in time. 

“We’re going to push for the schedule,” he said. “That’s our intent.”

City Administrator Todd Prafke said punting the bids down the road wouldn’t necessarily reduce costs or prevent future bad weather from impacting the project. He noted contingency plans will be needed for events in the park in case a late spring does push back construction.

The project won’t take up the entire Minnesota Square Park. Having the pavilion in place, however, would allow for folk festival performers to use the performing platform included in construction plans. The pavilion would also allow for ample seating underneath it in case of rain.

Johnson was the sole council member to vote no on the project, although Roger Parras was absent. The city has $110,000 in donations, $100,000 in matching city funds and $196,000 in state grant funding going toward the project. 

Follow Brian Arola @BrianArolaMFP.

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