Cost concerns cause redesign of Fairmont community building

First Posted: 1/15/2009

FAIRMONT -- Fairmont officials have gone back to the drawing board on their plans for a community building after the lowest bid for the project -- $1.27 million -- exceeded the proposed facility's budget.
The Fairmont Board of Commissioners recently voted to reduce the cost of the community building by about $420,000.
Town Manager Ben Hill said the design of the building has been altered slightly to reduce the cost. He said the changes include reducing the stone base in the concrete pavement from 6 inches to 4; placing a proposed outside ticket booth inside the facility; and eliminating a proposed canopy. He said the size of the building -- 18,500 square feet -- will remain the same.
The board also decided to ask United States Agriculture Department Rural Development to increase the town's loan for the building from $300,000 to $500,000. The town already has a grant from Rural Development for $100,000 and has raised $192,000 in donations and pledges.
“I don't think there will be a problem getting that loan,” Hill said.
Town officials now hope to keep the cost of the building, which is planned for South Main Street, to about $850,000. The town will begin accepting bids in three or four months, Hill said.
Ronald Nye Construction of Fairmont was the lowest of 20 bids submitted for the project, Hill said.
“We want people to know that we are still moving ahead with the project,” Hill said. “This community building is sorely needed at this end of the county.”
The center is planned for graduations, family reunions and youth activities. It will include a stage where plays and concerts can be performed and an arena that could used for sporting events.
Officials also wants to use the community building and beautification to enhance their pursuit of earning All-America City status from National Civic League.

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