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Great Bend hires Events Center architect
Included are a series of improvements to the facility
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 In other business Monday night, the Great Bend City Council: 

 • Authorized city officials to sign a contract with the Kansas Department of Transportation for the U.S. 281-Railroad Avenue improvement project, and approved a contract with L&M Contractors Inc. of Great Bend for $408,919, $389,466.45 for the work and $19,472.32 for construction engineering. The city match is $40,891.88. City Engineer Rob Winiecke said work will likely begin after the first of the year and be done by June 2016.

The project includes some paving on U.S. 281 and crowning and pavement work along 400 feet of Railroad Avenue.

• Accepted a bid from L&M Contractors for the final phase of the U.S. 281 bypass reconstruction. The bid amount is $389,524. L&M was the only bidder, Winiecke said.

 • Adopted an ordinance that would set the beginning date to sell fireworks as June 27. In a letter from Russell

Combs of C&S Fireworks, he requested that fireworks sales start on June 27 instead of the current ordinance date of July 1. 

This request was received after the June 15 agenda was distributed and the special session would have been too late to help this year. 

• Approved a bid from Krier Dozer of Great Bend in the amount of $5,650 for the demolition of the property at 1401 Second St. Fire Chief Mike Napolitano said this includes removing the two structures and all of the vegetation, as well as bringing in dirt to level the property.

• Authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign the concession lease agreement with Centerline Aviation for concession services via a food truck at the Great Bend Municipal Airport. The lease calls for a standard 10 percent of gross receipts to be paid to the

city. Airport Manager Martin Miller said.

To start with, the truck will be open only on weekends and by appointment. The hours may increase if there is a need.

Currently, there are no concessions at the facility. Martin also noted this would be a small revenue stream for the city and could lead to an increase in fuel sales.

• Approved a tree trimmer license for Dogwood Tree Service of Ellinwood.

• Approved abatements at: 5919 Rosewood Dr., owned by Brian Simmons, for accumulation of refuse; and 304 Buckeye St., owned by Cecelia Mattice, for accumulation of refuse.

• Named its top priorities for 2015 and 2016. These were: Continuing with the top goals of last year (more housing, fighting drug use, GBCVB improvements and cleaning up dilapidated properties); Event Center improvements and operations; continuing to work on streets; supporting city employees; and plan and begin implementation of improvements to recreational venues such as Stone Lake, the Sports Complex, the water park, zoo, Brit Spaugh Park, bandshell and others. as the City Council’s top priorities for 2015 and 2016. At the June 22 Goals Session, council members discussed goals for the upcoming year and beyond. City Administrator Howard Partington was asked to compile a list and find the goals that were mentioned the most. The top goals were those that received the most discussion.

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

• Heard a departmental update from Partington.

 The next step in improving the city-owned Great Bend Events Center are now in the works, after the City Council Monday night approved hiring an architect to sketch out what will be done.

City officials will sign an agreement with DMA Architects PA of Salina for the work to be done at the center. The three portions of the work would have architect fees of $10,500, City Administrator Howard Partington said. 

“I was pleased with the price on this,” Partington said. 

The firm, which has connections to Great Bend, will also handle the bid letting and inspections.“It’s pretty much turn-key,” Partington said

“The envisioned improvements to the Great Bend Events Center are minor in scale,” a letter from DMA noted. The three components are:

• Remodel Conference Room A from open space into an office for the Great Bend Convention and Visitors Bureau staff.

The only full wall to be added is the office in the southeast corner. The other wall is more of a divider. A floor to ceiling window would be on the west wall. It would allow employees to see what is going on in the event center lobby, but would have curtains to gain privacy if needed. 

• Add windows to the outside wall of the building.

One window on the east wall of the remodeled office. Two windows on the north wall of the remodeled office. Two to four windows on the north wall of the hallway adjacent to the large hall. A glass fire-rated door and frame between the Events Center and the Office Building will be installed in lieu of the current wooden door to tie the them together.

They want to be able to use the restrooms for overflow during large events and this would make it look like the two facilities were one.

• Removal of the front canopy.

“The large pillars and canopy at the main entrance are not inviting, are not accessible and not what we want for the future,” the architects said in the letter, adding the want to redesign the front entry. They want to replace the old canopy with a more modern and inviting one and rework the front entrance concrete to be accessible and at a more appropriate height. They may also suggest a small canopy of a similar design at the door to the west.

The parking lot may need to be reworked, but this is not a part of this project at this time, the letter noted. 

Also included in this will be handicapped accessibility.