Alabaster senior center design to be revamped

Plans for the new Alabaster Senior Center must be revamped after recent bids on the center came in at around $1 million — far too high.

City Administrator George Henry said more than 10 bids came in for the 5,400 square feet plan, and they all were in the $1 million range.

“It was amazing that they all came in at that price range,” Henry said. “I can tell you for the bids coming in at $1 million, that was way too much.”

Alabaster has matching funds of $150,000 from Shelby County, as well as a grant from the Shelby County Community Health Foundation for $150,000. The city has around $635,000 in the capital fund.

“We have enough that hopefully if (bids) come in again at 25 percent less, in the $750,000 range, we will be able to set aside the money,” Henry said.

Henry said the design for the center had grown from 4,100 square feet, in the original plan, to about 5,400 square feet in the design that was bid upon.

“They just increased general space. What we were trying to accomplish is to have the best functional space,” Henry said. “It just got away from us.”

Henry said plans have been scaled back to about 4,400 square feet, which would still give more space than the original design did.

“The council and the mayor are doing everything possible to get this off the ground as quickly as possible,” Henry said. “They do not want to spend every single dollar in the capital fund on a single project.”

The Alabaster City Council approved the senior center project in March. The center will be built on the site of the Old Buck Creek Mill.

The project will be re-bid in September. The city still plans to have the senior center completed in the 2010 budget year.