SDR school board approves bid for dome installation
By Eileen Persike
The first bid for the Hodag Sports complex was accepted Monday night at a special Rhinelander school board meeting. Three bids for the purchase and installation of the dome structure were received, all of which were under budget. John Kneer, president of Rettler Corporation and the architects for the project, recommended the board select the company with the low bid of $1.89 million.
“Each bidder was able to qualify their bids and to show the experience necessary to provide and install the bid here in Rhinelander,” Kneer said. “This is a company that Rettler has experience with at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh…so with that, we would recommend to the board tonight that we would move forward with the Arizon Building Systems simply for the fact that they do have the low bid.”
Included in the $1.89 million bid is a skylight, a voluntary alternate feature Arizon suggested, which Kneer said is a worthwhile addition to the dome. The skylight is made of a translucent material similar to the opaque material of the remainder of the dome fabric.
“It lets natural light in, allowing you to turn the lights off during the daytime and during the summer hours in particular, does provide a very nice environment for the users of the dome.”
A $70,000 signage allowance added to all bids will allow the Hodag logo to be added to the side of the dome. The cost difference between the three bids was about $40,000.
The bid includes all the surface elements for the air-supported dome, air handling units, fans and big mechanicals. Kneer said the interior work such as the divider nets, batting cages, all the floor material, synthetic turf, dividing lanes, tennis courts and tennis court surfaces will be bid out in late December or early January. Kneer expects work to begin in March or April with a mid-August grand opening.
Also Monday night the board voted to reject two bids that were received for outdoor shot put and discus facilities. The bids were about $40,000 over budget. The project will be rebid later with the interior work. Arizon is based in St. Louis, Mo.
Discussion of the complex began late last year when Dr. Lee Swank donated $500,000 to the Hodag Schools Foundation (HSF) as seed money for the construction of an indoor practice facility. Since then HSF has secured additional funding and the school board voted in June to designate $5.7 million from the district’s fund balance to help pay for the facility. The complex will likely include a domed sports facility, two softball fields, a JV baseball field and a football/soccer practice field as well as additional parking.
In August the school board approved the design for the dome, a 240-foot by 500-foot structure that will have space for full-size soccer and football fields, a softball diamond, four sport courts for tennis, pickleball, basketball, volleyball and gymnastics.