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Council to start Convention Center planning
Officials look at new time line for remodeling project
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Great Bend City Council members will meet with Convention Center architects Monday night to start piecing together their vision for the facility, as well as a new time line for the proposed $1 million project.
According to the agenda, Scott Bixler and some members of his team from the Wichita firm WDM will be present at the Great Bend City Office council chamber to discuss what the council has in mind by way of improvements to the center. The architects will begin presenting their thoughts and ideas and seek input from the city officials on how to proceed.
As it stands, the city will take over day-to-day operations of the center on Jan. 1, 2013. At first, officials had planned on closing the  center that same day for construction. A coordinator was to be hired by then to market and manage the center, and handle bookings after it reopened in the late summer of 2013.
However, now there is an uncertainty as to when the facility will be shut down for renovation and when it may resume operation. So, WDM and the council will also discuss the development of a new schedule since the one presented two months ago may now be unrealistic.
In addition, there are policy and procedure issues related to the operation of the convention center. The council will set a time and date for a team-building work session to discuss these. 
At its Oct. 16 meeting, the council authorized Mayor Mike Allison to sign a contract with the Wichita architectural firm WDM.
In addition, the council determined what should be included in the scope of work to be done by the architect and what could be done by the city. It was decided that, generally speaking, everything done to the inside and outside of the center building should fall into the architects purview.
The so-called “flat work” done outside to the parking lot can be done by the city’s engineering department.
However, WDM will come to the council and outline its plans. At this time, the council can decide to give more of the work to city employees if feasible.
The council on Oct. 2 selected WDM for the project. The company’s fee for the work comes to $93,300 for the design, administration and coordination of the project.
Other items on the council’s agenda Monday night include: An amendment to the sewer loan agreement with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment; a review of the code covering the replacement of sidewalks by homeowners; expansion of the Sports Complex parking lot; a change order for the curb and guttering replacement project; and the acceptance of City Clerk Wayne Henneke’s retirement.