Auditorium plans to be considered

By The Mercury

City commissioners will consider the future of the parks office and City (Peace Memorial) Auditorium during its meeting Tuesday.

The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

City administration will present a $1.8 million project moving the Department of Parks and Recreation office from City Park to an addition to be built on the north side of City Hall and a $803,640 project improving the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) system in the auditorium.

The HVAC project could be the start of a larger project that renovates the auditorium’s stage, as well as its audio, video and sound system for $1.83 million.

The auditorium project price doesn’t include professional design fees, which costs an additional 8 to 12 percent.

Commissioners won’t take any action Tuesday, but city administration is seeking direction on whether to proceed with both projects.

A previous plan involved removing the auditorium’s stage and seating area to add another basketball court and offices for the Parks and Recreation department. The estimated cost is $2.95 million.

A new plan was proposed after members of the community including veterans voiced their opposition to removing the stage from the auditorium built as a war memorial.

Jason Hilgers, deputy city manager, said the goal is to start the parks and recreation office project in early 2015. He said the auditorium’s HVAC could be packaged into the office project as well.

Commissioners will also vote on the 2015 city/university fund projects.

The fund — which gets revenue from sales tax and franchise fees generated on campus — was established in an agreement between the city and Kansas State University when the city annexed the university in 1994.

The $618,000 proposal commissioner will consider includes the following:

• Denison Avenue safety improvements ($248,000)

• Paving approximately 62 parking spaces at City Park and enhancing lighting, drainage and landscaping ($218,000)

• Final year of intersection improvements on Bluemont Avenue and North Manhattan Avenue ($55,000)

• Final year of widening 17th Street from Laramie Street to just south of Anderson Avenue ($52,000)

• Restoring brick pavers at Triangle Park and upgrading the electrical service ($45,000)

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