Wellness Center project open for bids

by Marianne Gasaway

Members of the Clear Lake School Board and City Council reviewed plans at their respective meetings for the $11.5 million Wellness Center which they are partnering to build.

Representatives of Atura Architecture, Clear Lake, provided drawings, cost estimates and even a virtual tour to representatives, who enthusiastically endorsed the ideas.

The Board of Education unanimously approved release of the 81,000 square foot Wellness Center project for public bid.  The project will be bid with an alternate, an additional 2,100 square foot multipurpose space which would expand the floor space to spread out main floor features.

At Monday night’s Council meeting, Architect Mark Kroemer and Senior Designer Scott Huffman said nine general contractors have expressed interest in the project.  Bids will be opened Aug. 13 and the School Board is expected to award the contract Aug. 18.

The project is scheduled for substantial completion by December 2021.

The school district and city still need to draft a 28E operating agreement for the facility.  Generally, the main floor of the center will house features used by the school district, while the upper level, which includes an elevated walking track and multi-purpose rooms, has features for community use.  Kroemer and Huffman explained the school district is financing pieces of the project which have a benefit to students, while the city is covering costs for non-student uses, such as sauna rooms and the elevated track.

The school district is funding its portion of the cost with use of funds approved by voters in a March 2020 bond referendum.

The City Council has selected Northland Securities to provide placement services for the City’s planned issuance of

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