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Two firms vie for club redo deal

by Jay Hamburger OF THE RECORD STAFF

City Hall says it has whittled to two the number of firms competing for a contract to design an ambitious renovation of the Racquet Club.

Ken Fisher, who manages recreation programs for the local government, says the two firms beat out three others to become finalists. The two are the IBI Group, an international firm with offices in Park City, and VCBO Architecture, which is based in Salt Lake City.

"I was hoping to get a couple more, but I think we had some good proposals," Fisher says.

City Hall interviews with representatives of the firms are scheduled Aug. 25. Fisher says he hopes to present the Park City Council a contract with one of them on Sept. 11. The elected officials must approve the contract, which Fisher expects will be for between $500,000 and $700,000.

Fisher anticipates the firm City Hall selects will finish a final set of designs by late next winter. Construction is scheduled to start in spring 2009, and a builder will be selected later. City Hall has set aside $8 million for the Racquet Club renovation, with the City Council endorsing the renovation during budget talks earlier in 2008.

Park City officials have considered upgrading the Little Kate Road facility for years, and there have been a series of improvements in the 22 years since City Hall purchased the Racquet Club.

Fisher has said the planned renovations would be the most significant, however. He has said the redone Racquet Club will not be "the Taj Mahal or anything like that," but it will be "very nice."

Officials last spring engaged regular Parkites in talks centered on what should be built in the renovated Racquet Club, with a crowd reviewing the options during a May open house. The ideas have drawn a limited amount of criticism, though, based on what the work is expected to cost.

The Racquet Club is one of City Hall’s most popular recreation facilities, with people from across the city and from elsewhere visiting it for workouts, swimming, tennis and basketball, among other offerings.


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