County receives bids on pickleball complex

A tournament-quality 12-court pickleball complex south of Garden City has moved another step towards reality.

Bartholomew County officials were surprised Monday when eight separate companies submitted bids for the construction of the illuminated future facility near Dunn Stadium.

A few years ago, city and county officials often struggled to get firms to submit a construction proposal. And when bids were submitted, the asking price was frequently higher than the engineer’s estimate. But three of the eight bids for the county’s new sport complex came in lower than expected.

The companies, listed from the lowest base bid to the highest, are:

  • Case Construction Inc. of Edinburgh. Base bid: $530,706
  • MacDougall Pierce Construction of Fishers. Base bid: $574,800
  • King’s Trucking and Excavation of Seymour. Base bid: $586,100
  • Scenic Construction Services of New Whiteland. Base bid: $693,300
  • Charles C. Brandt Construction of Indianapolis. Base bid: $699,900
  • Milestone Contractors of Columbus. Base bid: $740,538
  • Dave O’Mara Contractors of North Vernon. Base bid: 798,993
  • PAF Excavation and Dredging of Seymour. Base bid: $837,628

But the lowest base bid won’t determine who gets the contract because each company was also required to submit two alternate bids. The first involves changing the asphalt surface of the courts to reinforced concrete, while the second was for site furnishings like bleachers and picnic tables.

Bartholomew County Parks Director Rich Day will work with DLZ Indiana engineering consultant Charlie Day and other county administrators to study the bids and choose which one has the best combination of base bids and alternates. DLZ is the firm that designed the courts.

Last November, the commissioners said they hope to have the 12 courts completed by the end of this year.

The county is already expected to save up to $100,000 by allowing crews from the Bartholomew County Highway Department to perform excavating, grading and other preliminary work.

“It was a difficult site with the fact that the (land) slopes down to the BMX area, so considerable fill was needed to bring it up to a level conditioned for the pickleball courts,” Charlie Day said.

The county has hired Patriot Engineering and Environmental, Inc. of Indianapolis to make sure the fill dirt and base is adequately compacted according to specifications. Patriot’s responsibilities are estimated to last about three weeks and cost less that $15,000, the engineering consultant said.

A game somewhat resembling tennis that’s played with a plastic ball, paddles and a 34-inch high net, pickleball has gained immense popularity in recent years throughout the Columbus area. For example, there was a record 330 players who competed last September during the sixth annual Discover Columbus Pickleball Tournament at Donner Center.