Design for new Fishers park on hold

August 13, 2013
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Fishers’ grand plan for an 80-acre park at 101st Street and Cyntheanne Road hit a snag this month when the Town Council refused to increase the design consultant’s fees by about $100,000.

Indianapolis-based landscape architecture firm Rundell Ernstberger & Associates requested the additional compensation—to a flat fee of $282,000 from the original range of $180,000-$195,000—as the scope of the project grew larger.

Originally envisioned as a $2.3 million project, the price tag grew along with the town’s wish list for the park. Current plans call for a man-made sledding hill, mountain bike course and zip line, among other destination-worthy amenities.

The town has about $3.5 million budgeted for the project, which was promised when Fishers annexed the Geist area.

Although the funding is available, the council was concerned about changing the terms of the deal with REA—and the scope of the project—after awarding the contract through an open bidding process.

What happens now is unclear, said Town Manager Scott Fadness. Issuing another request for proposals is among the possibilities, he said. Scrapping the project is not.

“We all want to see this come to fruition,” he said.

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  • Really?
    Does anyone think a man made sledding hill is a good idea for central Indiana? It doesn't seem like we get enough snow for this to be a worthy long term investment. In the past dream session they talked of artificial snow creation for the hill, but at what cost?
  • Sledding Hill
    Willow-There is a sledding hill at West Park in Carmel and one in Centennial in Westfield. They both get pretty busy, even with just a light snow. And they get a decent amount of use during the summer as well, jog up one and you will "feel the burn." The one at West Park always has people on it, but they also added a path and benches at the top, which makes it a scenic lookout compared to the flat land around it. Plus, its basically just the dirt dug out for the retention ponds in the park, so they have to put it somewhere anyway and doesn't really add to the cost.
  • Consultant
    Good the Town has the guts to say no to the consultant. There are plenty of other ones out there who could design the park for less because they have less overhead. Heck 65% of the fees go to overhead and profit (15%) so find one with less overhead. Fee should be no more than 8 to 10% of construction costs.
    • To Mike
      What are you talking about? Even using the top end of the original proposal, the fee was 8.4%, right in the range you yourself specified. The additional services requested match exactly the percentage the budget increased. The project expanded to a 3.25 million dollar project. The project was won using a bid process, so they WERE the most qualified, least expensive option. They deserve to get paid for the work done, they aren't asking for a handout. Get a clue before you make wild assumptions.

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