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City Commission Work Session Minutes - May 13, 2020 at 5 p.m.


Mayor Steve Leary

Commissioner Marty Sullivan

Commissioner Sheila DeCiccio

Commissioner Carolyn Cooper

Commissioner Todd Weaver

City Manager Randy Knight

City Clerk Rene Cranis

Also present

Carlo Burns and Jim Russell, Pizzuti

Jim Ellspermann and Richard Dwyer, Brasfield and Gorrie

Susan Pendergraft, Hunton Brady Architects

David Gastel and Andrew Garrels, LandDesign

Russell Crader, Adjaye and Associates

Chuck Cunningham and Ginny Goff, Ardaman & Associates

Steve Shelt and Frank Robertson, TLC Engineering Solutions

Sean Moro, Universal Engineering Sciences

Meeting called to order

Mayor Leary called the work session to order at 5:04 p.m.

Winter Park Library and Event Center

Mayor Leary explained that this meeting is to review the questions submitted by members of Commission and the responses of the project team.

Mr. Knight thanked the members of the Commission for submitting their questions and the project team for their responses in time for this meeting. Questions were reviewed and discussed as follows:

• Omit Astroturf and replace with trees - This would result in a credit of approximately $10,000. Issues discussed include space and use, heat of Astroturf, maintenance, shading canopies, view of amphitheater and comfort of visitors.

• Solar panels – Cost for 171,600-watt system would be approximately $343,000 plus the cost of shoring or additional steel for reinforcement. After discussion, it was determined that more information is needed on the cost, time to recoup initial outlay, availability of tax rebates, and design. Decision is needed in six weeks.

• Amount of bond issue remaining – Estimated remaining amount of the 2017 and 2020 bonds is approximately $21 million and the amount to defease the bond is approximately $29.4 million which results in a shortfall of approximately $8.4 million. If the city has to reimburse taxpayers, the shortfall would increase by approximately $2 million.

• Cost of additional steel structures – A change order has been submitted which includes steel revisions and minor plumbing changes and will be reviewed by the project team. The cost for structural steel supports will be funded from contractor’s contingency within the GMP. The minor plumbing changes were determined to be outside the original scope and will funded from owner contingency.

• Budget overages on soft costs – Net overage is approximately $9,000.

• Universal Engineering’s scope – Efforts revolve around quality control and adherence to construction documents. Scope of work includes compaction, backfill, testing of piles, pavement, concrete and structural steel.

• Depth of auger piles – At the recommendation of geotechnical engineer, depth is 70 feet below bottom of grade beams, which has been inspected and confirmed by Universal Engineering.

• Pile placement – Per construction drawings, piles were not installed within six pile diameters (seven feet) of piles grouted in previous 12 hours.

• Auger grout testing – Universal Engineering will conduct strength testing and provide a full report.

• Compressive strength variations – There are no variations.

• Layout of as-built auger piles – Drawing was displayed showing pilings in relationship to lake.

• Compaction – Process and performance criterium were developed by Ardaman and Associates who witnessed and tested the process. The compaction process was explained.

• Compaction differences in different areas – Compaction is uniform throughout the site. Concerns regarding slabs cracking were addressed.

• Modification to Lake Mendsen – Modifications and drawings showing shoreline were reviewed. Shoreline has been moved further from building.

• Acceptable limits of settling – The building was moved 20 feet north to mitigate influence of muck. Some settling is expected to occur during construction but at and after ten years it will not be significantly greater than at the end of construction.

• Auger piles performance and sheet pile along lake – Will not be compromised.

• Lake Mendsen modification using floating equipment – There is sufficient distance to work from land and there is no anticipated impact. Universal will witness and perform quality control.

• Tree removals in MLK Park and relocation – Current design meets zoning requirements. As provided by Code, trees will be planted in other locations to provide for tree growth since there is insufficient room on the site for canopy growth of large shade trees.

• Labor costs during COVID19 – Market has been tested and has not softened much. Any savings realized during the project will be returned to the city at the completion of project.

• Interior concrete bench and outer stem construction – Design and construction was explained. Benches are not designed as a monolithic pour and there will be slight variation in appearance.

• Heat conduction of bench– Calculations were performed per regulations; however, a complex 3-D model would be needed to determine the temperature of the bench which is outside the scope of the project. A table showing the surface temperature was reviewed and discussion followed on the calculation based on different variables.

• Demucking – Performed using a systematic approach as part of the geotechnical and field efforts.

• Load calculations – Calculations have been completed on the sloped framing and steel structure.

• Completion of final design and shop drawings – Design is complete with ongoing coordination of shop drawings through June 2020.

• Additional costs with recent modifications – Addressed previously

• Move entry doors for better coverage between porte cochere and buildings – Doors were situated based on the geometry of the building to provide a cover from the porte cochere to the library and the event center. Entries are under the canopy created by the canted walls. Design and construction of the porte cochere and discussion followed.

• Published cost per square foot of the porte cochere – Cost is higher due to the significant amount of steel needed for the small square footage.

• SJRWMD requirements and permit – It was clarified there was a query from SJRWMD but no violations. The site is currently in compliance. Site work was reviewed and a letter of compliance has been received from SJRWMD which will be forwarded to city staff.

• Budget modification – Provided earlier in meeting.

• Underdrains around library basement – Position of contractor on underdrains and waterproofing system was reviewed. Discussion followed on the advantages and disadvantages of underdrains and stormwater storage. Project team will provide pros and cons of different systems, associated cost and impact to schedule.

• Expenses and encumbrances to date – Actual expenses are approximately $8.2 million. The financial liability to terminate the project is anticipated to range between $1.6 and $3.6 million. Staff will provide updated expense figures.

• LEED certification – Pizzuti recommended that the city pursue a LEED-like effort due to administrative requirements and cost. The minimum cost to pursue LEED certification is $50,000 but presents significant difficulties in tracking the points toward certification since the previous building was demolished and opportunities were missed. After discussion, consensus was to explore with cost to obtain points for completed work.

• Sinkhole risk – There could be an active sinkhole in Lake Mendsen but there is no evidence of a sinkhole under building.

• Permit costs – Costs are still showing as a soft cost positive variance so it has not moved but will be reflected in city contingency.

Mayor Leary declared a recess at 7:30 and reconvened the meeting at 7:46 p.m.

Additional topics discussed:

• Parking garage

Discussion was held on the inclusion of a parking garage, design of structured parking complimentary to the Library and Event Center, pedestrian safety concerns of off-site parking, and opportunities to construct a parking garage in the future.

Mr. Knight provided the history of the parking garage which was in the original design but was eliminated and has not been in the design for more than two years. He reviewed onsite and on-street parking which meets parking codes. Overflow parking is available across Morse Blvd. Staff has discussed installing a pedestrian crossing on Morse Blvd. with signalization.

Mr. Crader said he would look at parking on west side of the property and suggested looking at a different design, possibly with a vegetative wall, and consider changing its use if parking needs decline significantly. He responded to comments regarding varying parking demands and design.

• Review of Budget

Mr. Knight reviewed funding sources including TDT grant funding and donations which equal approximately $8 million and could be in jeopardy if the project is stopped. After costs yet to be paid, the total available for a restart is approximately $23 million. He explained that his conservative estimate of termination fees and wrap costs are $1.6 million; however, Brasfield and Gorrie believes the amount to be closer to $4.6 million. He responded to questions providing additional budgetary information and on the TDT grant which is tied to the event center and the specific design.

Mr. Knight reviewed the estimated cost to defease the 2017 and 2020 bonds if the project is terminated, which will result in an escrow shortfall of approximately $8.3 million if the city has to reimburse the taxpayers for the debt service paid over the past three years.

Discussion followed on the financial impact of delaying the project. Mr. Knight recommended moving forward with minor modifications within the critical path of the project. Mr. Ellspermann reviewed the cost implications of delaying the project including staff costs, subcontractors, materials, and soft costs.

Mayor Leary questioned the need to delay the project if questions have been answered and items have adequately addressed or agreed upon with the exception of items where additional information was requested such as Astroturf and solar panels.

Commissioner Sullivan said he feels some aspects do not satisfy what was specified from the task force and there are serious shortcomings in many areas. He feels there are some items that can be fixed but will increase the cost and that the citizens want something that works for them.

Mayor Leary pointed out that Library staff has stated this design meets their needs. Mr. Burns explained that the Library was designed based with the input of Library staff based on their programming needs and the public.

Commissioner Weaver read a prepared statement expressing his concerns about the project including moving forward during the pandemic and economic climate, adequacy of contingency funds, difficulty raising public donations, size of the library, parking, use of parkland, cost overruns and structural considerations. He said he feels that the public is not being given what they voted for and some Library staff had advised him they are not being given the space they need. He cannot support continuance of the project and suggested a 60-90 day pause to review.

After discussion on project cost overruns and the Library’s support of the design, Mr. Ellspermann said they are committed to completing the project within GMP.

Commissioner Cooper said she would like to an audit of the process to determine where the process failed and to avoid issues on future projects. She said that major changes deserve the input of the citizens and suggested a resident survey that includes providing sufficient information and costs and then questions related to the different aspects of the project.

Discussion followed on the audit and survey with concerns regarding questions and validity of a survey to obtain meaningful results.

Mayor Leary supported moving forward while investigating underdrainage, LEED certification, landscaping, Astroturf, parking structure and solar panels without causing a delay.

Commissioner DeCiccio expressed her frustration and concerns regarding cost and loss of greenspace for parking. She said she feels the project needs to move forward without delay due to delay costs. She requested that the project team look for potential cost savings and that Library staff be included on any discussions on modifications.

After additional discussion on the feasibility of conducting a survey and Library design and modifications to meet library needs, Commissioner Cooper suggested that the commission identify their design issues for further discussion, their cost, and implications to the project schedule.

Mayor Leary suggested moving into the special meeting to decide what action to take, whether it is to move forward as currently proposed or with modifications, stop the project completely, or redesign the project.

Mr. Knight summarized the Commission concerns/requests:

• Provide options for design of parking structure, receive and distribute parking study.

• Revisit landscape on the plinth – trees and grass versus Astroturf.

• Provide cost and payback analysis of solar panels.

• Provide cost of structural steel.

• Recalculate temperature of benches.

• Provide cost of installing underdrains.

• Provide e-mail from SJRWMD regarding compliance.

• Look at costs for LEED certification.

• Provide detailed O&M budget.

Mayor Leary adjourned the meeting at 9:26 p.m.

Posted to on June 3, 2020.

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