It appears city officials have a desire to spend up to $150,000 to find out just how expensive it will be to renovate McMinnville Civic Center.
The measure to hire HFR Design for a full set of drawings and bid documents for renovations and additions to the existing facility passed unanimously Tuesday night. Being an ordinance, one more passing read is needed.
Voting in favor of spending the money for the professional design services were Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman and Aldermen Ryle Chastain, Everett Brock, Steve Harvey and Jimmy Bonner. Alderman Mike Neal was absent.
Newman, chair of the city’s Parks and Recreation Committee, outlined why the city should hire HFR Design and move forward with renovation.
“I think this is something we need to do,” said Newman. “We’ve talked about it for a while. We’re finally moving forward to get the design phase done. This will allow us to put the project out for bid to see what the total cost of the project will be. It’s time for us to do it. The Civic Center needs it. It needs a facelift. It needs more access. Our city has changed a little bit, and the needs of our city have changed. This building was built for a specific purpose and that purpose no longer meets our needs. We need to change it to meet our needs.”
For several years, the city has considered improvements and/ or a complete renovation of the Civic Center. Standing in the way are cost estimates. A recent estimate places the project at $4.8 million.
Having the bid documents will allow the city to go out for bids. Actual costs will be known at that time. However, the city is not legally required to move forward with the project after accepting bids.
The next regular session of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen is May 10 at 7 p.m.