Sampson Construction of Lincoln is set to build Seward’s new wellness center.
The city council approved a recommendation by the wellness center committee March 7 and authorized the city to negotiate a contract with Sampson using a contractor-at-risk method, meaning Sampson will guarantee a final price for the facility.
If it comes in over that price, Sampson is responsible for the difference.
City Administrator Greg Butcher said Sampson rose to the top over six other firms that responded to the city’s request for proposals to build the wellness center.
Council members Matt Stryson, Karl Miller and Jessica Kolterman provided input as the firms went through what Butcher called a “stringent interview process.”
Members of the Seward Public Schools Board of Education and Seward Changing the Game also participated, along with representatives from BVH Architects and Dave Kumm, executive vice president of Concordia University, who has led several of the university’s large building projects.
“Sampson brings a wealth of knowledge and experience with this,” Butcher said. “They just hit all the points that basically defined what we’re looking for.”
Sampson built Papillion Landing, a 120,000-square-foot community recreational center that cost $48 million in Papillion. It also recently renovated the Beatrice YMCA. Both facilities have served as examples for Seward’s wellness center committee.
Examples of Sampson’s work in Seward include the recent renovation to Seward Memorial Hospital, Seward Memorial Library, the Dowding Municipal Pool and additions to Seward Elementary School.
“They have relevant experience, recent experience, and the reviews that we heard from the tour at Papillion were terrific,” Miller said.
Butcher said the project is deep in schematic design. The building will face west for optimal traffic flow of vehicles and pedestrians. The committee is close to finalizing the areas needed for platting the property.
“We want to quit talking about it and build something,” Stryson said.
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