Rendering of the planned new community center building in Venetian Gardens Park in Leesburg.
Rendering of the planned new community center building in Venetian Gardens Park in Leesburg. (Borrelli + Partners)

The city of Leesburg is looking to hire a Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR) to lead work on a new community center building at the Venetian Gardens Park, an estimated $5.8 million project, according to a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) issued last week.

City commissioners approved in December the design for a new one-story, 20,700-square-foot building that would include meeting space and a grand ballroom with seating capacity for 485, and better views of Lake Harris than the current community center offers.

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The CMAR will serve as the owner's representative, and work with the city's architect, Borrelli + Partners, already under contract. Duties include extensive site work, demolition of existing facilities and construction of the new community building.

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The new community center is designed to maximize views and make the spot even more of a destination for events and recreation. In addition, there will be two pad-ready restaurant sites along the Lake Harris shoreline with docks and public walkways.

The chosen CMAR will provide both pre-construction services and serve as construction manager/general contractor, including development of a guaranteed maximum price proposal based on complete construction documents.

Proposers should be capable of obtaining and providing performance and payment bonds for up to $7 million. A letter documenting bonding capacity from their guarantor will be required as part of the RFQ.

A key expectation by the city for a CMAR includes at least three examples of experience with projects of similar size and complexity completed in the past seven years.

City staff said in December that plans are to keep the current community center open until the end of September. Then it is scheduled to be demolished to make way for the new community center and other improvements.

The picturesque Venetian Gardens, considered a gem in Leesburg with its lake-front site and meandering gardens and paths, is in the midst of a makeover. A new splash pad and pavilion were recently added.

Applications for the CMAR position are due by March 13 at 2 p.m. to the Leesburg Procurement Division.

Full documents for RFQ no. 180203 can be found through the city Procurement Division's Open Bids webpage.

Have a tip about Central Florida development? Contact me at bmoser@growthspotter.com, (407) 420-5685 or @bobmoser333. Follow GrowthSpotter on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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