City to rule on stage

By Corene Brisendine

City commissioners Tuesday will decide the future of the Peace Memorial Auditorium.

During the meeting at 7 p.m. in City Hall, commissioners will vote on amending the contract with Bruce McMillan Architects for $39,650 to create new preliminary designs. The new designs would keep the auditorium intact but update and renovate it, adding space inside or adjacent to the current structure at 1101 Poyntz Ave. for the offices of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

City Manager Ron Fehr told The Mercury that the offices would most likely be an addition to the west or north side of City Hall in the new drawings.

According to city officials, McMillan was contracted by the city to create preliminary and final designs for the auditorium and office space for $158,220, of which McMillan has already collected $41,708. If the amendment passes, the city will have spent $81,358 on the designs and another financial amendment would be needed to cover final designs and construction drawings.

If the amendment fails, the city will go ahead with the previously approved design and cost, which calls for removing the stage and adding basketball courts.

Additionally, it calls for removing the permanent seating to allow for offices to be built for the parks and rec department.

The call to amend the drawings was a result of an outcry by some veterans who said that because the stage was built as a memorial, it should not be demolished. The Historic Resources Board recommended that the city look at alternatives to removing the stage and permanent seating.

Commissioners Wynn Butler and Rich Jankovich have voiced concerns on cost of renovations during previous meetings.

Commissioners will also give parks and rec officials feedback on rate structures for city aquatic facilities and programs.

According to the agenda, parks and rec officials will give the year-end report, which includes attendance and revenues collected during the summer swim season.

Fehr said officials are looking for direction on creating pool passes, rate structures for adults, rate structures for times of day and up-charges for certain amenities at the pools.

The aquatic facilities and year-end report is a discussion item only. No action will be taken by commissioners.

Finally, commissioners will vote on whether to adopt and incorporate the Wildcat Creek Floodplain Management Plan as part of the Manhattan Urban Area Comprehensive Plan. Commissioners previously looked at the comprehensive plan and approved it. Tuesday’s action is the formal process of adding the floodplain plan.

The meeting will be televised on local cable channel 3.

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