The demolition of the New Brighton Eagles Nest is scheduled for early September and is expected to stay closed through early November.
In June, the New Brighton City Council unanimously approved a bid and awarded a contract in the amount of $489,700 to Commercial Recreation Specialists for the Eagles Nest Indoor Playground replacement.
The New Brighton community center building was built in 1994, and the last Eagles Nest structure was installed in 2003 with a 10-year life expectancy. The project was scheduled for replacement in 2013 and in 2016, but was delayed until 2017 due to only one qualifying bid coming through. According to acting parks and recreation director Jason Hicks, the Eagles Nest hosted approximately 1,200 birthday parties and groups in 2016 and sells 51,000 individual youth daily admissions annually with revenues totaling $4,195,270 since 2004.
The demolition of the current structure is scheduled to begin on Sept. 4 with construction of the new structure beginning on Sept. 25.
“We are really excited to get this new playground up,” said New Brighton facilities manager Bill Bach. “We have worked so hard with the community and vendors to get the most out of this.”
Back in February 2016, public input was solicited regarding a proposed amenities in new Eagles Nest. Potential vendors provided photos of various playground elements that were displayed at the community center. After registering, visitors selected the elements they wished to be included in the new playground.
Special features that made the cut include a light up crawl tower, carousel, walk-on piano keyboards, tight rope, ball pit, trolley challenge, hanging foam forest and a one-of-a-kind eagles nest. The toddler area will also increase in size and include an activity panel, climb-on sculpted foam pieces, a tree slide, walk-on piano keyboards, a carpeted play area, toddler ball pit, a lily pad walk and more.
“We have a lot of great new features,” said Bach. “We will have about five electronic items that I think the kids will just love,”
The new playground will be funded via the Non-Fleet Capital Asset Replacement Program, which identifies $412,555 for the replacement. A 10 percent contingency of $48,970 is being held in reserve.
According to Hicks, the playground is expected to pay for itself within three years.
Incidentals to the project including the demolition of the existing structure, new carpeting, a vacuum system and cleaning the existing area are estimated at $28,175 and would be purchased outside the bid.
The building’s sprinkler system will be upgraded during the replacement process. This includes increasing the density of the system in the Eagles Nest as well as reviewing sprinkler head placement to ensure coverage in all areas of the playground. These improvements will be funded from the General Fund and not from the Capital Asset Replacement Fund the playground replacement has been budgeted for. An exhaust fan will also be installed to increase the removal of smoke and fumes in the event of a fire.
If all goes as planned, construction will be completed by Nov. 3 and the Eagles Nest will reopen shortly after that with a grand opening celebration.
To suspend a youth membership during construction, contact Eagles Nest Customer Service at 651-638-2130.
Preschool open gym will still take place on Mondays and Wednesdays.
Follow the Sun Focus on Twitter at @MnSunFocus and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SunFocus