Soldotna Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis talks about the Soldotna field house project during a Soldotna City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis talks about the Soldotna field house project during a Soldotna City Council meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

Soldotna awards field house contract

Anchorage-based Criterion General, Inc. will construct the facility

Anchorage-based Criterion General, Inc. will construct the Soldotna field house for an estimated $14.1 million following approval of the contract by Soldotna City Council members last week.

Award of the contract comes roughly three months after the city received a higher-than-expected cost estimate for the project, which jumped by about $10 million from last year.

In all, the city received five bids by the end of August for the project, ranging in estimates from $14.1 million to $16 million. The lowest bid came from Anchorage’s Criterion General Inc., to which the city awarded the contract.

Soldotna Public Works Director Kyle Kornelis said Monday that some of the cost reduction efforts the city employed were successful and that the bidding climate was favorable. Therefore, he said, the large amount of contingency funds that the city had previously budgeted for was not needed.

Kornelis said the city will need to continue reviewing its funding strategy as more known costs come in, as “significant expenditures” remain, such as furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Soldotna voters last year gave the city permission to incur up to $15 million in debt to pay for the project. Per the resolution, the scope of work described by the contract includes construction of a 40,500-square-foot building with a running track, utility services, paved parking and landscaping.

City staff and council members during last week’s meeting celebrated both the award of the construction contract and that the associated price tag was closer to what the city had originally budgeted.

“We are very excited to be able to bring this before you for obvious reasons — to be able to complete this project and also that it is well under the engineer’s estimates and that we have the ability to award this contract financially as well,” said Soldotna City Manager Janette Bower.

Council members were equally enthused.

“For the field house to finally be coming to fruition is very, very encouraging because we have been working on this forever,” said council member Linda Farnsworth-Hutchings. “The fact that the prices came in back where we thought they should be originally — I’m even more ecstatic about that.”

Soldotna City Council meetings can be streamed on the City of Soldotna’s YouTube channel.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

More in News

Soldotna High School senior Josiah Burton testifies in opposition to the proposed cut of Kenai Peninsula Borough School District theater technicians while audience members look on during a board of education meeting on Monday, March 6, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
School board finance group reviews expenditures ahead of upcoming budget cycle

As the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District prepares to grapple with another… Continue reading

Members of the Kenai/Soldotna Fish and Game Advisory Committee raise hands to vote in favor of a proposal during a meeting at Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Silver salmon, personal use fishing discussed by advisory committee

The group set their recommendations on a variety of proposals to the State Board of Fisheries

Hoses pump water along Patrick Drive to help mitigate flooding near Kalifornsky Beach Road on Friday, July 21, 2023, near Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Borough spent almost $78k responding to flood events during disaster declaration

Most of the funds were spend in the northwest area of Kalifornsky Beach Road

The National Weather Service’s map shows a winter weather advisory, in orange, effective for much of the eastern Kenai Peninsula. (Screenshot)
Heavy snow, blowing winds forecast for Turnagain Pass on Wednesday

Snow accumulations of up to 16 inches are expected

The Kenai Courthouse is seen on Monday, July 3, 2023, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Grand jury adds charges in October killing of Homer woman

The indictment was delivered on Nov. 8

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Anchorage resident arrested in Nikiski after troopers investigate reports of stolen vehicle

Troopers responded to a residential address in Nikiski around 11:30 a.m. after being notified by Sirius XM that a stolen vehicle was there

Santa Claus greets Hudson Reinhardt during Christmas Comes to Kenai festivities at the Kenai Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center in Kenai, Alaska, on Friday, Nov. 24, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Getting into the holiday spirit

Christmas arrives in Kenai with fireworks, Santa and a lot of rain

Kinley Ferguson tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christmas during Christmas in the Park festivities on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Soldotna Creek Park in Soldotna, Alaska. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Creating a winter wonderland

Christmas in the Park to bring Santa, sleigh rides, fireworks on Saturday

Flowers bloom at Soldotna City Hall on Wednesday, June 24, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Soldotna to repair failed wastewater pipe

The pipe to be repaired discharges treated effluent into the Kenai River

Most Read