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City Prepares To Award Construction Contract For NCino Sports Complex

By Staff Reports, posted Sep 6, 2022
The nCino Sports Complex is a planned multi-purpose facility soon to undergo construction off U.S. Highway 421. (Rendering courtesy of LS3P and Wilmington Hammerheads Youth FC)
Update: Wilmington City Council voted to award the contract Tuesday evening. 

Wilmington City Council will vote Tuesday to award the costliest portion of a long-planned project to revitalize a former landfill into a sports tourism destination

Council will consider awarding T.A. Loving Co. $12,491,700 to cover construction costs for the nCino Sports Complex. The planned sports complex, 205 Sutton Steam Plant Road, will reimagine a former landfill currently known as the Cape Fear Regional Soccer Park. 

In 2019, Wilmington Hammerheads FC donated 64 acres of the site, a $3.4 million value at the time, to the city. Wilmington voters in 2016 approved a $38 million parks bond, which set aside $10 million to be attributed to soccer and multi-purpose fields. 

In May 2021, the city unveiled a $1.3-million sponsorship deal with fintech firm nCino. The deal entailed naming rights for the company and a requirement that the city must also develop a synthetic turf field. 

Earlier this year, the Hammerheads Youth FC opted to donate $225,000 to the project to ensure it had adequate lighting. The city first put the project out to bid to construct 11 multi-purpose fields and restroom facilities in May but received fewer than three bids. After re-advertising the project in June, T.A. Loving Co. was the lowest responsive bidder out of two total proposals. 

Including other construction-related tasks, the total project cost is about $16 million, deputy city manager Thom Moton told council when asked about price increases in an agenda review meeting Tuesday morning. “It’s important to note that well over about 30% of that cost is what you will see below grade,” he said, noting the site’s status as a former unregulated landfill. “So a significant cost-driver is the site prep.” 

Site work alone for grading, infrastructure enhancements, irrigation and landscaping will cost $5.5 million, city staff shared last month. 

Inflation is partially driving cost overruns, Moton said Tuesday, but so is an expanded project vision. Though costs are higher than anticipated and work is beginning later than expected, city staff told council that overall, they’d be getting a higher-quality product. 

“We’ve actually transformed what was envisioned to be essentially four bare fields into being an amateur sports destination,” Moton said. 

Alternate add-ons totaling $1.9 million that could further enhance the project are available for council members to consider at a later date. 

The council will consider making a supplemental appropriation to the city’s parks and recreation capital fund of $5,330,062 to cover the current funding gap. Included in that appropriation is a change order for $403,667 for John R. McAdams Company, Inc. to cover construction admin and environmental services.

The council will vote on the construction contract award and funding appropriation Tuesday evening. Once construction begins, it's expected to last between 15 and 18 months, according to a city spokesperson. 
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