Archive for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Baldwin City Council moves on new golf course clubhouse

March 18, 2014

The Baldwin City Council agreed Monday to demolish the clubhouse at the Baldwin Golf Course and replace it with a 40-by-48-foot building estimated to cost $121,000.

Steve Wilson of the Baldwin Golf Association first approached the council in October about the need to replace the converted horse barn that has served as the course’s clubhouse since the 1960s. The golf association leases the course from the city.

Wilson said the 18-hole sand green course was used for other community functions, including well-attended Baldwin High School and Baker University cross country events in the fall, and that the clubhouse, with its failing roof and water-damaged interior, was of limited use and made a poor impression on visitors.

The golf association asked for help constructing a structure that fit the 30-by-40-foot footprint of the existing clubhouse, which would satisfy its needs. Council members agreed if the city got involved it should explore a building that could be used for other community needs, including those of the Baldwin City Recreation Commission.

After a series of meeting involving the city, golf association and BCRC, the council agreed in January to construct a new 40-by-48-foot building on the site, which would be large enough for community gatherings and some BCRC classes. The BCRC also agreed to commit $10,000 to the project.

The building would include bathrooms that could be accessed from interior and exterior and a small kitchen area.

On Monday, the council received a breakdown of the initial cost estimate for the project. The memo from City Administrator Chris Lowe notes that when considering the $121,000 estimate, it should be remembered the city would have spent $25,000 to place new bathrooms at the golf course, as it had all its parks. He also noted the current clubhouse would have had to be demolished soon at the city’s expense, at which point the city would have built a shelter costing at least $15,000.

Those expenses and the BCRC’s contribution meant the city’s “net investment” in the project was $70,000, Lowe wrote. He also noted the golf association has agreed to a new 10-year, $4,000-a-year lease on the course with the revenue to be used to repay the city for the clubhouse's construction.

Councilman Shane Sharkey reminded the council the golf association also has pledged to do much of the finish work on the interior to keep cost down. Its members will also seek to get bargains for construction materials and fixtures for the project, he said.

Council members said the project showed what could be accomplished when different entities worked together.

“I think it would be very difficult to find another project we could do that should have such a wonderful impact and be used by the golf association, high school and university cross country teams and the recreation commission,” Sharkey said.

Councilwoman Christi Darnell praised the golf association for being flexible in the city’s approach to the project and for agreeing to allow other activities, such as sand volleyball courts and horseshoe pits, on the site.

City Public Works Director Bill Winegar said the city would now approach contractors to refine the project’s early estimate, which was presented to the council. Those would later be returned for its consideration, he said.

In other business, the council authorized Mayor Marilyn Pearse to sign a letter of agreement for a Sunshine Foundation Trail grant that will connect the golf course with two other west side city parks.

The grant will provide half the $110,000 needed to construct a 6-foot-wide, 2,640-long sidewalk that will connect Allen Park at the Santa Fe Depot to West Park. The trail will consist of new sidewalk along Miami Street south one block to Ottawa Street, two blocks of sidewalk on city-owned right of way on the golf course’s north boundary and back north one block on Orchard Lane to existing sidewalk on High Street.

City Clerk Collin Bielser said with the signing of the agreement surveying for the project could start.

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