December 26, 2013 9:14:49 AM
The design process for a renovation of the Trotter Convention Center is almost done, and the 45-day bidding window for a general contractor will begin Jan. 6.
Local architect Major Andrews IV, who was selected by the city council in August to draw plans for the project, said he will receive the last of feedback by early next week from a committee formed to provide suggestions on how the work should be done.
City project manager Robyn Eastman of J5/Broaddus said during the review he has identified a couple of minor tweaks that need to be made so the project can stay at its $2-million budget. He said the council is scheduled to open sealed bids around Feb. 10 and will make a selection at their following meeting.
Phase one of the project, which entails exterior improvements including the addition of a courtyard and restrooms near the main entrance, will begin in late February and run through May. In June, phase two, which comprises interior work, will begin. That includes the installation of an elevator, new ceiling and floor tile, sound system upgrades and new lighting.
Andrews said he will be working with Eastman during construction and will hold monthly meetings with the contractor. He said he expects the face lift to be substantially complete by November, at which time he and the committee will go through a list of items left to be done. The contractor will then have 30 more days to have the entire project complete.
Construction will account for $1.65 million of the price tag, with Andrews receiving $80,000 for his work and J5/Broaddus receiving $99,000. A $126,000 contingency fund budget is included.
This is the second design project Andrews has overseen since he started his own firm, Major Design Studio, in January. The first was to plan construction of a gymnasium at a Macon day care center. He worked at firms in Jackson and Georgia before moving back to Columbus to become project manager at Major Construction Company, which his father owns, before starting his own business.
He said the process has gone well to this point.
"It's been great," he said. "We haven't run into any bumps. Everything is running smoothly."
Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.
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