Demolition bids are in.
On Tuesday night, McMinnville officials will be reviewing and discussing the cost associated with removing the Blue Building’s gymnasium and auditorium.
A Building and Grounds Committee meeting is scheduled for 5:45 p.m. On the committee are Alderman Ben Newman, chairman, Ken Smith, and Jimmy Bonner.
Two bids were received. Tri-State Development submitted a base bid of $228,800, while Waymon Hale Construction submitted a base bid of $268,000.
Officials voiced a desire to salvage elements of the building for resale in an effort to recoup some of the cost of demolition. The companies submitted options for officials to consider:
• Tri-State — Option one is to salvage and stockpile 170,000 bricks at a cost of $9,500. Option two is to salvage, clean and stack 70,000 bricks at a cost of $50,000. Option three is to remove and replace shingles for $500.
• Hale — Option one is to salvage 5,000 bricks for $500. Option two is to salvage, clean and stack 5,000 at $12,500. Option three is to remove and replace shingles for $1,000.
Consideration for removal of the gym and auditorium began after officials received an analysis by AEI Architects that found the auditorium was in “critical condition and no one should be allowed in or even near the facility. The analysis found the cost for renovating either building would exceed the cost of building a new one.
Officials will also be considering a request from Industrial Development Board director George Burke to allow the organization one year to market the building in an effort to find a buyer.
“Give us a chance to do something with the Blue Building,” said Burke. “By us, I mean the Industrial Board. For several years, I have been working with Dr. Neil Schultz in an effort to obtain the right or the permission to market the Blue Building as an economic development project and as a means of recruiting jobs to downtown McMinnville.”
Burke says he wants a year to prove a buyer can be found to preserve the entire building.
“I only ask for the opportunity to prove that I am right, not for myself, but for the people of McMinnville,” said Burke. “Give Neil and the Industrial Board of Development a year. If we are wrong, we will retreat with a tear and walk away from the dream. If we are right, we will celebrate with all of McMinnville, with a glad and thankful heart and not in conceit, as we all reap the windfall of the dream becoming reality.”
Burke’s request was included in the packet of information sent to each official last week.