Contract let on Madison’s $280,000 Town Park Ponder Cottage renovation
By Tara DeRock Mahoney
Senior Staff Writer
Madison Downtown Development Authority members voted unanimously Tuesday to hire Watkins Builders to renovate the former Ponder Cottage in the new town park currently under construction.
The company’s bid of $280,000 for the cottage renovation, along with the highest set of scores from an interview process which rated such qualities as experience within the historic district, bid price, and current qualifications, led to the awarding of the contract. DDA officials hope that the total cost of the cottage renovation could come in at an even lower cost than was bid.
“We’re going to be working with that builder to [generate] some cost savings,” said city planning director Monica Callahan.
“The specs on this project…are high-end,” agreed DDA member Clifton Hanes. “There may be some value-engineering that can produce some cost savings along the way.”
Work on the cottage is expected to begin within the next month. Meanwhile, requests for proposals for the pavilion to be built in the park were released last Thursday, and those bids are due to the DDA by July 11. Downtown visitors could be parking on new pavement around the park within two weeks.
In otber park business, the DDA expects to open bids for financing packages for approximately $1.3 million before its next meeting on June 17. Five local banks were invited to bid on a funding mechanism for that part of the park that has not yet been covered by private donations and grant monies.
Following construction of the pavilion and renovation of the cottage, only a gazebo and final landscaping—including the town fountain—will await completion within the park.