The Sedalia Park Board approved the winning bid for the Heckart Community Center Thursday evening at the board's monthly meeting at Convention Hall.

Paric Construction, St. Louis, was chosen as the general contractor for the community center with a bid of $13.78 million.

Paric also has offices in Kansas City. Mo., and Cincinnati, Ohio.

“This is the biggest piece of the puzzle,” Sedalia Parks & Rec Director Amy Epple said after the meeting. “There's been a lot of work put into this. And Sue's been a big help … she's actively involved, and this is really important to her and her parents' memory,” Epple said of project benefactor Sue Heckart.

Randy Kirby

Heckart attended Thursday's meeting held in the gym at Convention Hall with social distancing observed by all. “We've done our due diligence,” she commented.

Epple noted that Paric, founded in 1979, is one of the top construction companies in St. Louis. “They're well known, they've done some great projects. They're more than qualified,” Epple said during the meeting. “I'm very happy, I'm very excited. They're probably the best contractor on this list, and they came in the lowest (bidder) and I don't think you can get any better than that. And they have a completion date of Dec. 22, 2021.”

The original estimate on the project was around $15 million, it was noted.

Epple hopes to “get the shovels in the ground next month."

Epple told KSIS that she estimates the community center should be fully operational by February 2022. March 8 would be a year later than Heckart originally wanted it to open, she noted.

“We'll get it open and get it done right. This (became) a much larger facility. The pool doubled in size. We went from a 68,000-square-foot facility to a 92,000-square-foot facility,” Epple said. The Heckart Community Center will be located on the former site of Jennie Jaynes Stadium on South Limit in Sedalia.

Randy Kirby

Epple praised the efforts of the Yes-Yes Committee, headed by Steve Bloess and Kyle Herrick. “They're still really good about checking in and getting things going. There's a lot of people out there who didn't think it was going to happen. It's happening. They'll see ground movement here in the next month.”

Also in attendance at Thursday's meeting were Sedalia Mayor John Kehde, City Administrator Kelvin Shaw and Architect Rob Rollings, as well as the entire Park Board.

Park Board member Kevin Thomas was thanked for his two years of service. Thomas is leaving Sedalia to take a job in Blue Springs, Epple said.

The Sedalia Park Board meets again June 4. The public is invited.