HLC Finances

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Healthy Life Center Funding  

Because Ames citizens are asked to fund the Healthy Life Center and it would be a public facility with ongoing costs, the finances of this project are extremely important.  

Why should the residents of Ames have confidence that the estimated Capital and Operational Costs are realistic?

The City paid a total of $100,000 for two experienced independent consulting firms to provide a Recreation Facility Cost Analysis.

Ballard King and RDG Planning and Design estimate 333,000 visits annually. The actual Furman Aquatic Center attendance for three (3) months averages 100,000 visits per summer. Therefore, the Healthy Life Center estimate for 12 months at 333,000 visits seems realistic. 

Further, the six partners in this project - Heartland Senior Services, Mary Greeley Medical Center, Iowa State University, DMACC, Story County, and the City of Ames, have a proven track record of projecting capital and ongoing operational costs, and for building quality facilities. They have engineers and project managers to oversee construction, and they always include a contingency fund in the budget for unforeseen construction change orders.

Ballard King/RDG Capital Cost estimates:

The total project cost totals $48.7 million as follows:

  • Building: $34,213,916
  • Site Costs: $4,000,000
  • Land Acquisition: $300,000
  • Contingency (15%): $5,400,000
  • Soft Costs
    • Fixed Equipment: $1,578,500
    • Design Fees and Expenses: $2,800,000
    • Construction Testing: $100,000
    • Survey: $40,000
    • Soil Borings: $60,000
    • Misc.: $207,584


      Ballard King/RDG Operational Cost estimates:

      Expenses      $3,201,421

      Revenues     $2,727,557

                 Difference:    $ (473,865)


       Aquatic Space: $464,095  (90% City / 10% MGMC)

       Dry Space:        $   9,770   (50% City / 40% MGMC / 10% Heartland)

       Difference:        $473,865


How will the City of Ames keep up with escalating maintenance costs as the structure ages?

Of the $473,865 difference (listed immediately above), $300,000 annually is included in that amount. Those funds will be placed into a building depreciation fund. In the years to come, these accumulating funds will be used to maintain and replace building features (windows, doors, roof, heating and venting systems, etc.).

Municipal Pool will be demolished in the near future – what will we do then as a community?

The School District will build a new cold water competitive pool at Ames High. However, this will not meet the needs of the overall general public who desire a warm water recreational experience. Therefore, if the Healthy Life Center is not built – residents will only have access during limited hours to the School District’s cold water facility.

How much will Ames tax payer’s pay of the $48 million cost?

The exact dollar amount of a bond issue has yet to be established. However, as shown below - currently it is estimated at $17 million. This is approximately the cost of the warm water recreational pool proposed for the Healthy Life Center.

  • City of Ames                                $17,000,000 Residents of Ames
  • MGMC                                         $7,000,000
  • Heartland                                     $3,500,000
  • Story County                                $3,000,000

    Sub-Total:                                    $30,500,000 (64%)

  • Philanthropic:                              $18,200,000 (36%)

Total:                                           $48,700,000 (100%)