Solana Beach City Council awards construction contract for Veterans Honor Courtyard

Solana Beach will soon have a special place to honor service members, after the City Council recently awarded a construction contract for the Veterans Honor Courtyard at La Colonia Park.

The Veterans Honor Courtyard will include a wall with military seals and a water feature, honoring all U.S. veterans, living and deceased, as well as those who are serving at home and abroad. There will be a flagpole with a dedication plaque and bench seating.

After a ceremonial groundbreaking last Veterans Day, Van Dyke Landscape Architects, the design team, finalized plans for the project and the city advertised for construction bids. Having received only two bids that exceeded cost estimates, the council rejected both in January.

A revised project went out to bid again in September. The city received six bids by the Oct. 20 deadline.

The Veterans Honor Courtyard is estimated to cost $296,000 and is mostly being covered by city and county grants, including $86,000 in Public Improvement Grant funds and a $100,000 grant from the County of San Diego’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Program. Community members also raised about $40,000 in donor tile sales, an effort that was spearheaded by former Mayor Tere Renteria. The personalized 1-foot square tiles will be installed in the courtyard to honor service members.

The council on Oct. 28 unanimously approved a more than $247,000 contract for Conan Construction, the lowest qualified bidder, and close to $49,000 in contingency costs. The contract includes three alternative bid items for items such as decorative metal arches, replacement of the bike rack and installation of a new fence along the west side of the park.

To cover the remaining costs, the council allocated an additional $45,000 from the Public Improvement Grant fund reserves, which stems from the former Solana Beach Redevelopment Agency, and transferred $25,000 from the fund for repairs to the La Colonia Community Center. Even with the transfer of funds, there will be enough money to complete the anticipated repairs, according to the staff report.

The contract allows for 100 working days, or 20 weeks, to complete the project. The project is expected to be completed by mid-May 2016.