Champlin moves forward with Andrews Park ball field lighting improvements

By Megan Hopps
Sun Press Newspapers

The Champlin City Council approved the bids and awarded the contract for lighting improvements on baseball field five at Andrews Park.
The contract was awarded to Gunnar Electric whose bid came in at the lowest amount — $212,480. Competitors came in anywhere from approximately $210,000 to more than $300,000. The project includes the costs of either incandescent or LED lights, conduit infrastructure, electrical outlets and circuit positioning. Additional costs are for engineering and consulting plans, tree plantings and parking lot improvements.
“This project has been in the works for two years,” said Parks and Facilities Manager Charlie Lehn. “The Champlin Park Baseball Association brought to our attention that, because of the pressures on the field between the Champlin-Dayton Athletic Association and Champlin Park Baseball Association, there were no lit baseball fields in the city of Champlin. They wanted to partner with us and provide $110,000, if we could come up with some of the funds to complete the project.”
The council will later determine the best lighting option, whether that’s incandescent or LED. LED lights last up to five times longer than incandescent lights, but they come at a higher up-front cost. City staff is leaning towards LED lighting because it’s more energy efficient, there is no “warm-up” time when they’re turned on and that it projects more direct light onto the field.
The city of Champlin and Champlin Park Baseball Association entered into an agreement to improve the ball field last year contingent on approval of a grant from the Hennepin Youth Sports Program. The city was notified of the award back in December. Project plans were created by consulting company SRF Consulting and the engineer’s initial cost estimates were between $195,000 and $210,000 for the improvements.
The city plans to fund the lighting project with funds from the Champlin Park Baseball Association ($110,000), the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission ($85,000), the Minnesota Twins Fund ($10,000) and the city’s Park Reserve Fund ($75,000) for a total of $280,000.
“In August of last year, we had a public informational meeting and the Park and Rec. Commission as well as the city council approved the grant process and it was awarded,” Lehn said.
Gunnar Electric, based in Eden Prairie, has completed similar athletic complex LED lighting projects in Shakopee, West St. Paul, while also completing athletic field projects for Eden Prairie High School.
The city council awarded the contract for the Andrews Park lighting improvements for field five to Gunnar Electric for their submitted bid of $212,480 and install a LED lighted system with a 25 year warranty for parts.
“We are very much excited because initially we had incandescent bids, but we were able to obtain LED lighting and stay on budget,” Lehn said.

Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]