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Civic Center upgrades may be put to vote
Deadline to place referendum on ballot is Aug. 18
City officials are discussing getting feedback from voters before proceeding with a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation of McMinnville Civic Center.

McMinnville residents and property owners could be allowed to vote their opinion on financial expenditures to upgrade the Civic Center.
Aldermen Mike Neal wants the measure on the ballot, if information is available in time.
“For us to even consider a referendum, we have to have the cost estimate and all that before the next meeting on Aug. 9. The deadline for the referendum to be on the ballot is Aug. 18,” said Neal during Tuesday night’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.
Renovating the Civic Center could be costly and officials agreed to spend up to $150,000 to find out just how expensive. They hired HFR Design for full architectural drawings. Using that information, architects can estimate cost of renovation. That information must be used in the referendum, while an actual cost will not be known until the bidding process is complete.
Parks and Recreation director Scott McCord said he will contact HFR Design and see where the process stands.
A recent estimate, offered before HFR Design was hired, placed the project at $4.8 million. That cost would include some major renovations that would completely change the interior and expand the building, as well as make the building ADA compliant.
The plan calls for two expansions: one on each side of the building where the main entrance is currently located. On the main floor, the expansion to the right of the entrance would provide a 5,500-square-foot dedicated area for aerobics/gymnastics, while the expansion to the left of the entrance would be a 2,100-square-foot area to enlarge the Wellness Center and include bathrooms/ showers.
On the second floor, the expansion on the right would be used for tennis courts, while the expansion on the left would be used for racquetball courts.
The expansion would allow the upper level above the gymnasium to be used for a “true” walking track that would not be blocked when people are using the tennis courts.
The offices, or most of them, would be relocated upstairs. In the area where the offices are currently located, there would be a place for young children to wait while their parents exercised in the Wellness Center.
Along with an elevator to the second floor and improved bathrooms to make the facility ADA compliant, the basketball court would be completely renovated. The one large basketball court would be divided into two courts, have stadium seating, and a new floor.
Again, the plans are preliminary and the cost was an estimate.