EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard
A crew with The Boldt Company works on the Community REC Center on Oct. 30 to remove and replace exterior wall panels.
EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

A crew with The Boldt Company works on the Community REC Center on Oct. 30 to remove and replace exterior wall panels.

MARINETTE — Despite a minor setback from a late delivery of replacement wall panels, the Community REC Center project is plugging along. According to Marinette’s mayor, the new recreation facility could be finished by the end of 2018. 

The saga of the Community REC Center’s construction issues has already dragged on for eight months past the building’s first completion date, March 1. While the original contractors and construction management company, Scherrer Construction Co. of Burlington, Wis., took on the project with the ambitious promise that it would be complete by the beginning of March, cold snaps, improperly-installed exterior wall panels and other delays pushed completion to April, then June, and eventually left the project in limbo. The City of Marinette retained outside counsel to pursue legal remedies regarding the improper wall panel installation, and chose to rebid the panel work on May 22. 

The City of Marinette contracted with The Boldt Company of Appleton, Wis., on July 30 in order to replace the exterior metal wall panels on the Community REC Center, to the tune of $989,950 and a set completion date of 20 weeks after the contract was signed. The city chose Boldt over a lower, $937,000 bid from C&C Services of Aniwa, Wis., which would have set the completion date back to Jan. 31, 2019. The city council voted to contract with The Boldt Company despite the $52,950 difference, favoring an earlier start to a cheaper price tag. Mayor Steve Genisot initially said the city would like to see the building completed by Dec. 14, and included incentives in its contract to complete the panel installation by that date. The Boldt Company gave a more conservative estimate in July of completion by Dec. 28. 

According to Genisot, who spoke with the EagleHerald about the Community REC Center project on Thursday, the panel replacement is still on track to be finished by the end of December. 

“I was there on site this morning,” Genisot said Thursday. “They have the north side entirely replaced, they are working on a fix for the south side corner, and beginning work to install panels on the west side, starting at both ends. We’re making good progress, and the superintendent on site said they are on schedule.” 

The building’s opening date could affect hockey season games, which were planned to be held in the existing Civic Center hockey dome to begin with a transition to the Community REC Center when it was completed. The facility’s completion and opening date hinge entirely upon completion of the exterior wall panel replacement, as their installation affects other facets of the building process, such as corners and gutters — some aspects of the building cannot be finished until the issue is resolved.

“It’s been very frustrating that we’ve had the delay,” Genisot said. “Luckily, we’ve been taking the steps to get it done right.” 

Financially, Genisot said the $17 million project is still on budget, barring the extra costs to rebid the panel work. However, extended contracts and extra fees related to the construction delays the project faced could eat up the City of Marinette’s contingency funds quickly. The city’s legal team is still working to arrange a settlement with the parties involved in the wall panel litigation, which could help reimburse the city for extra costs related to the construction issues and delays.