No date has been given for shutting down McMinnville Civic Center for renovation and expansion, but steps have begun to prepare for the closure with a lease at Three Star Mall for relocation.
McMinnville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen approved a two-year agreement with the mall, contingent upon legal counsel approval. The measure, which passed unanimously Wednesday night, establishes provisions to utilize six spaces at the mall for Civic Center activities when the facility is shut down.
“Our main goal of moving is to stay operational and not shut down for 18 months to maybe two years,” said McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord. “We think moving to the mall is a great idea. We’re going to attract people who have never experienced what the Civic Center is about. People can shop and then work out, or they can work out then grab a bite to eat.”
The Civic Center will occupy nearly every empty spot currently at the mall. As you’re entering the mall by Roses, the empty storefronts on the right will all become offices or fitness rooms for the Civic Center. This includes the old jewelry store on the corner, the old Bookland location, and the old Radio Shack further down the mall.
“We’ll be moving our fitness equipment here, offering all the same services, and maybe even expanding our hours,” said McCord.
The facility has seven full-time staff members (including McCord), four part-time front desk and weekend staff, five full-time maintenance staff, one custodian, and 11 fitness instructors.
“We do not anticipate cutting back on anyone’s hours or laying anyone off,” said McCord. “Our classes are going to be the hard part. We are going to accommodate our instructors as best we can. We might have to work with their schedules a bit.”
An exact date for closing the Civic Center is unknown at this time. However, city attorney Tim Pirtle informed board members that all the legal steps – project contracts and forms necessary to borrow up to $10 million to cover the project – will be complete before the end of 2018.
Once all the legalities are finalized and items removed from the building, Sain Construction Company will be given an official notice to proceed – a notification letter to the contractor stating the date on which work can begin. That date marks the beginning of the performance time of the contract.
Alderman Kate Alsbrook requested of city administrator Bill Brock a timeline that includes when construction is estimated to begin and end.
The mall was chosen due to its location and adequate parking. It also opens at 5 a.m. for walkers.