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Tag: Cheney Stadium


Tacoma: Auditor weighs in on Cheney Stadium project

State auditors reviewing the city’s renovation of Cheney Stadium have recommended Tacoma to “strengthen internal controls” over the way changes are approved for contracted public works projects.

The issue stems from $2.2 million of change orders added to a $23 million base contract that the City Council awarded to a design-build team led by Mortensen Construction in 2010.

As we reported last year, the city’s project officials didn’t seek approval for the contract changes from then-City Manager Eric Anderson, nor did they inform the City Council about them until after approving them on their own.

The changes ultimately led

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Tacoma: Council renames part of South Cheyenne Street to Clay Huntington Way

Move over Dave Niehaus Way and Edgar Martinez Drive. Tacoma’s now got its own ballpark promenade honoring a storied sports legend: Clay Huntington Way.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved renaming a portion of South Cheyenne Street — from South 19th to the entrance of Cheney Stadium — after the late, great local sports and civic icon.

“Mr. Huntington was a noted citizen, booster and broadcaster who was instrumental to the establishment of Triple A baseball in Tacoma, the formation of the Tacoma Athletic Commission, the construction of Cheney Stadium and many other notable achievements,” city historic preservation officer

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Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium wins “Ballpark Renovation of the Year” award

City-owned Cheney Stadium has won Ballpark Digest’s “Ballpark Renovation of the Year” award for it’s $30 million make-over.

Here’s the press release from the Tacoma Rainiers on the honor:

Cheney Stadium Makeover Cited By Ballpark Digest

Keeping Cheney Stadium’s historic feel and its ties to the local community was a vital part of the ballpark’s successful makeover, as the renovation generates an award from Ballpark Digest, the leading guide to baseball and ballparks on the Internet.

TACOMA, Wash.Making changes to something considered an institution in the local community is always an activity fraught with risk, guaranteed to generate opposition no matter what is proposed. Not necessarily surprising: it’s not easy making major changes to a place where so many people spent so much time over the years, especially when they were children.

In Tacoma, the Rainiers and their partners overcame opposition to the ballpark renovation and delivered a project that was on time and on budget — an incredible achievement, considering the $30-million renovation took only 210 days. To say that the ballpark renovation saved Pacific Coast League baseball in the city is not an overstatement.

In recognition of the successful project, the makeover of Cheney Stadium is the winner of the 2011 Ballpark Renovation of the Year in the annual Ballpark Digest awards. Read more »


Tacoma: Subcontractor sues Mortenson, city over Cheney Stadium project

A key subcontractor on the Cheney Stadium renovation project has sued the City of Tacoma and its general contractor, the M.A. Mortenson Company, amid claims it’s still owed more than $400,000 for work on the ballpark.

Roscoe Steel and Culvert Co. of Billings Mont. — which provided steel framing, decking and joists for the $30 million stadium project — claims Mortenson failed to cover “unpaid base contract amounts and change orders” for work and materials provided during ballpark renovations.

Tacoma City Attorney Elizabeth Pauli said Monday the city’s inclusion in the lawsuit is simply procedural because the city holds the funds that are set aside in case of such a payment dispute.

Mortenson Vice President and General Manager Jim Yowan, who described the lawsuit Monday as “purely an internal issue” between his company, Roscoe and other subcontractors, blamed Roscoe for the problems that led to the legal dispute.

“Roscoe delivered some steel to the project late, and that affected the other contractors from starting their work,” Yowan said. “The amount of damages to other subcontractors is in excess of the $400,000 that Roscoe is now claiming they should’ve been paid.”

In its suit filed in Pierce County Superior Court on Aug. 31, Roscoe alleges breach of contract and negligence by Mortenson to the subcontract signed by both companies in August 2010.
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Council questions Cheney Stadium project spending

Citing unresolved questions about a requested increase to the contract covering Cheney Stadium’s renovations, the Tacoma City Council took the issue off tonight’s council agenda.

In response, City Manager Eric Anderson assured council members he would provide detailed answers to their questions in the coming days.

“I will document them,” he said.

At issue is a request by city staff members for an $821,000 increase to the design-build contract awarded to Mortenson Construction in March 2010. The increase seeks to cover “unforeseen” expenses and additional ballpark amenities included in the remodeling project. In all, it would raise the contract with Mortenson to $27.4 million.
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State auditor to review Cheney Stadium renovation project

State auditors will review the publicly-bid renovations at city-owned Cheney Stadium to find out if the project has met state bidding laws, a spokeswoman for Washington Auditor Brian Sonntag said this week.

“Specifically, we will be looking at whether the city … followed the laws around the design/build process,” spokeswoman Mindy Chambers said Wednesday.

The review of the ballpark project will be part of the state’s regular accountability audit of the city set to begin in August, Chambers said.

The auditor’s office routinely reviews publicly bid projects carried out by municipal governments in Washington. City officials can also request certain projects be included in such reviews.  In this case, Councilman Ryan Mello specifically requested Cheney Stadium be examined, Chambers said.

“But we were planning on looking at it before he called,” she added.
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Tacoma Rainiers’ consultant blasts councilman in email string

With the City of Tacoma and Tacoma Rainiers set to celebrate Opening Day at a newly renovated Cheney Stadium tonight, a behind-the-scenes — if disparaging — email discussion among key city and team officials late last month has emerged courtesy of the state’s public records act.


In the email thread, Steve Patterson, a consultant for the Rainiers — the minor-league tenant of the city-owned ballpark that’s set to host its first game tonight after $30 million of improvements — blasts Councilman David Boe for “secretly misus(ing) his public position to line his own private pockets.”


Patterson’s email comes amid a discussion among some city and team officials about how to respond to questions Boe originally sent to City Manager Eric Anderson after reading The News Tribune’s story last month about a controversial procurement process in the ballpark renovation project. (Neither Anderson nor Boe are included on the email thread).

Among other things, Boe wondered in his email to Anderson sent Mar. 20 if the city faced paying any monetary damages should the ballpark renovations not be completely finished by an April 1 deadline. Boe also wondered if a public demonstration area had been identified at the ballpark. (Ensuing emails show that neither Rainiers’ President Aaron Artman nor Patterson were agreeable to a demonstration area, although Mike Combs, the city’s Public Assembly Facilities Director, noted that such areas are protected by federal law.)

To Boe’s questions, Patterson responded to the group:

At the last OAC meeting we discussed that the gas will be in by the 25th. Substantial completion with a punchlist is not the same as having every last item done and doesn’t relieve Mortenson of the obligation to finish the punchlist. Boe is grandstanding. The deal was never that every punchlist item would be done by April 1, and he knows the difference. He’s using his usual prevarication just as a way to gig us all. At the rate we’re going now we should be substantially complete on time with a punchlist. The punchlist for the offices and Summit Club space was pretty short. That gives us two weeks before any games and liquidated damages discussion. I’d find it difficult to imagine we won’t be able to play on the 15th.
The team’s lease doesn’t provide any space for demonstrations.
I see no reason to entertain any suggestions from someone who tried to secretly misuse his public position to line his own private pockets.

Patterson’s comments appear aimed at Boe’s involvement with one of the ballpark renovation project’s losing bid teams — a relationship that ultimately drew an ethics complaint against him.
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Tacoma: New project deadline, $1 million more in amenities for Cheney Stadium project

The $30 million face-lift to Cheney Stadium is on time and on budget, and come Opening Day next year, the city’s newly renovated minor league ballpark will be ready to play ball, project officials told the Tacoma City Council Tuesday.

But to finish construction before the Tacoma Rainiers take the field for the team’s home opener on April 15, the city’s primary contractor for the project, Mortenson Construction, retooled a deal with the city by negotiating for two additional weeks of work time.

In return for the longer construction schedule, contractors agreed to build roughly $1 million more of amenities into the refurbished ballpark – including a canopy over seating on the third base side, a new left field auxiliary entrance and a viewing berm beyond the right field fence from which fans can sit in the grass and watch ballgames.

The reworked deal pushes back what had been a contractually agreed-upon project deadline between the city and Schlegel Sports, the Dallas-based owners of the Triple-A Seattle Mariners’ affiliate, from mid-March to April 1, project officials said.

Still, even with the new completion date, the ballpark will be ready two weeks ahead of game day, they said.

Mike Combs, the city’s public assembly facilities director, told the council he does not believe the city’s new 30-year lease extension with the Rainiers, made contingent on the ballpark renovations, has yet been to be formally updated to reflect the project’s later completion date.

“But we have received permission from the Rainiers to push back (the completion date),” he said.

Such details emerged during the latest progress report issued to city officials Tuesday on the first major renovation for the city-owned minor league ballpark in its 50-year history.
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