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Getting a new look
Council OKs improvements to Events Center
new deh more city council events center drawing web
Shown is an artists rendering of the revamped entrance to the Great Bend Events Center. The City Council Monday night approved the improvement project. - photo by COURTESY ARTWORK

In other business Tuesday night, the Great Bend City Council:

• Authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign the engineering services agreement with Professional Engineering Services of Wichita in the amount of $56,122 for the 10th and Grant streets geometric improvement project. KDOT is paying for 90 percent of the costs. 

A committee interviewed four firms that would provide the engineering for the project and filled out an extensive KDOT-provided form, and the firm that was rated the highest was PES.  

The acceptance of the agreement is contingent upon KDOT approval, he said.

The city didn’t have to go through the selection process, Partington said. But, by doing so, KDOT would pick up most of the tab.

• Concurred with an additional change order for the U.S. 281 and Railroad Avenue Project. The change added 79 feet of expansion joint that was not on the plans. The city’s portion of the $103.50 change order would be $10.35. The Kansas Department of Transportation requires the city’s concurrence with their change orders, Partington said. 

• Approved abatements at 205 Frey St., accumulation of refuse, owned by Miguel and Brandi Garay.

• Heard Great Bend Chamber of Commerce President Jan Peters present an economic development report.

• Mayor Mike Allison named himself, City Attorney Bob Suelter, Partington and Councilwoman Vicki Berryman to a selection committee for the new city public works director. Current Director Don Craig is retiring and Monday was his last council meeting.

 The Great Bend Events Center will receive an extensive facelift after the City Council Monday night approved a nearly $300,000 renovation for the main entrance of the facility.

“This is a fairly large project,” City Administrator Howard Partington said. “The goal is to change the front of the Events Center.”

In general, the scope of the work involves replacing the canopy, providing better accessibility to the front entrance and replacing a portion of the parking 

The council accepted the low bid from Brentwood Builders LLC. of Great Bend in the amount of $279,000 and alternate bid of $2,200 for the improvements, and authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign all appropriate documents relating to the project. 

Utilizing a slide presentation, Donnie Marrs of Salina-based DMA Architects took the council through the changes. DMA prepared the plans and specifications for the project and reviewed the two bids and found the low bid to be appropriate.

Changes include:

• The existing canopy and supporting columns will be removed. “It’s not a very friendly entrance,” Marrs said.

It will be replaced by a 34-by-60-foot canopy covering 2,000 square feet with a 14-foot clearance. Along with this, there will be an 18-by-80-foot plaza area in front of the center.

• About 8,500 square feet of the southeast quarter of the parking lot will be removed and replaced. This will be somewhat sloped and done to make the building more handicapped accessible and improve rainwater drainage.

• There will be a repair of the external surfacing, or plaster that covers the building’s facade. This could incorporate a sample of a new color scheme that may eventually be used on the entire center.

The council has the ultimate say in any color changes.

• Some of the front doors will be replaced with wider, 42-inch doors. There will also be an automatic door opener installed.

The interior doors that help created the entrance vestibule will remain in place.

• An ice and snow melting system under the canopy will be installed (this is purpose for the $2,200 alternate bid listed above).

• A ramp for handicapped patrons will be added.

• Variable LED lighting under the canopy will be installed.

Brentwood has 90 days from the date the material arrives for the steel structure to complete the project. There could be penalties for delays.

“Now is a good time to get started,” Marrs said. Since taking delivery on the steel can be a challenge, the sooner things are set in motion, the sooner the it can be ordered.

“We have been saving money for sometime,” Partington said. “The money is available” for the improvements.

The council earlier approved a remodeling project for the front area of the center to accommodate the Great Bend Convention and Visitor’s Bureau office. There has also been painting, updating of the audio-visual system, heating and air conditioning changes, new carpet installed and other improvements done since the city took possession of the building in 2011.