Renovating McMinnville Civic Center could be costly and city officials could spend up to $150,000 to find out just how expensive.
The city Parks and Recreation Committee met Monday to discuss the proposed renovation and unanimously approved recommending to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen up to $150,000 be spent with HFR Design for full architectural drawings and documents necessary for the city to go out for bids on the project.
Aldermen Ben Newman and Steve Harvey voted in favor of the measure. Alderman Jimmy Bonner was absent.
“I think we need to move forward with this,” said Newman. “Let’s get the plans. This is something we’ve talked about for a while. ”
Having the bid documents will allow the city to go out for bids. Actual costs will be known at that time. The city is not required to move forward after getting bids. One estimate places the project at $4.8 million.
McMinnville Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord presented a $148,000 estimate from HFR Design for a full set of drawings and bid documents.
“For them to do a design and development phase so it could go out to contractors for estimates, much like I believe we did with Park Theater, is $148,000,” said McCord.
Newman and Harvey did express some price shock at the amount, but city attorney Tim Pirtle reminded them Park Theater’s drawings and bid documents cost $100,000.
“I think the city spent $100,000 for AEI to generate drawings and bid documents for Park Theater. At least that’s my recollection,” said Pirtle. “Isn’t the Civic Center about twice the scale of the Park?”
Present for the discussion was city Finance Committee chair Everett Brock, who encouraged Newman and Harvey to vote in favor of spending the money.
“If we get these drawings, we are going to really find out what the numbers are,” said Brock. “We’ve sat here and gripped about $3.5, $4.5 and $5 million. This will give us the actual numbers, so spend the money and get the drawings.”
Brock said during past discussions he doesn’t believe the estimate of $4.8 million is realistic, but if it is, the city can fund the project using the money returned to the city from the county from an agreement over local option sales tax which returns 4 percent of an estimated $2 million over a 25-year period.
The amount does not include the cost of HFR Design overseeing the project, if the city decides to move forward with it. That amount is a percentage of the total project cost, which is unknown at this time.
An ordinance to spend up to $150,000 hiring HFR Design will be sent to the full board for its consideration.