Peru talks cutting back plans for Schweickert ice rink building

Increase in prices may cause the city to remove features from the original plans

Peru City Council considered cutting back on elements of the Schweickert ice rink building because of increased material costs and supply chain issues.

The original plan was for the building to be in Washington Park next to the ice rink and for it to have locker rooms, restrooms, a concession stand, skate rental area and outdoor fireplaces. The Schweickert family donated $1 million to the city of Peru so it could complete this building and the Schweickert stadium — which is home to the Illinois Valley Pistol Shrimp and Illinois Valley Community College baseball teams.

Finance Director Justin Miller said between this project and the Schweickert stadium, the city could potentially have $500,000 to $600,000 worth of expenses not included in its original budget for the projects.

City Engineer Eric Carls said he wants to move forward with the project despite increased costs. He said he is willing to cut out optional features of the building, like the fireplaces, or add them in at a later date.

Alderman Dave Waldorf agreed with Carls and said the Schweickert family has an expectation this project will be completed and people are excited about the new addition.

The bid opened last week for companies interested in taking on the project. The city originally estimated the project would cost around $750,000. The lowest bidder gave a project cost estimate of $1,027,000. Carls said the difference is because of supply chain issues and inflation.

“I know $300,000 is not pocket change, but this is a project that the city should go forward with,” Waldorf said.

The good news is the building itself is minimalistic in size, but Carls said these price increases are not going to decrease anytime soon. Cutting out accessory pieces such as the fireplaces could save the city close to $100,000.

Miller said it may help if the costs of both the stadium and ice rink building are spread out across two fiscal years. The stadium seating won’t arrive until March of 2023, so if the city moves now on the ice rink building it may help spread out the costs.

The next step is for Carls to award the project to a bidder and identify items to remove from the original plans. Carls said he will need to meet separately with Miller to crunch numbers, and if the city can’t make the project work then they will meet with the Schweickert family to assess their wishes moving forward.