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Council approves remodeling senior center lobby, reception area and bathrooms

While a construction bid is $42,821 over budget , the council approves using other funds to complete the renovation


Despite the lowest bid coming in more than $42,000 over budget, the Sherwood Senior Center will receive its most extensive interior facelift since the center opened in 1980.

After some discussion Tuesday night — and a dressing-down by Councilor Bill Butterfield — the Sherwood City Council approved hiring a contractor to remodel the lobby, reception area and bathrooms at the Marjorie Stewart Senior Center.

The city had allocated $152,512 for construction costs, a large portion of a $179,600 federal Community Development Block Grant the city received. However, the lowest bid received was from Russell Construction for $195,333.

Bob Galati, the city’s engineer, said there were many little pieces that drove up the bid prices ranging from plumbing costs, removal of concrete, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems and flooring.

Kristen Switzer, the city‘s community services director, said an expensive rectangular tile floor that many of the center’s seniors loved is expected to be replaced with something more affordable. That may include either grinding down the current aggregate floor, restraining and sealing it, or adding a faux wood floor.

When initially told that the city needed to move on the project because the federal grant might expire or that construction costs may rise, Butterfield said he was disappointed that the council was “being hijacked with this time frame.”

“Why do we have to do it right now?” Butterfield asked, disappointed with the fact the bid was $42,821 over budget.

City officials later clarified that the block grant, which is distributed to counties by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, could be extended.

Still, Butterfield said he would have liked to see more communication between the parties involved before it was presented to the council.

“I want the thing to go through. It’s not that I’m against seniors,” said Butterfield. “I just don’t want this to happen again.”

Switzer stressed it was important to make the badly needed improvements.

“This is a facility that is utilized across the board,” she said, adding that delaying the renovations could end up costing the city money later.

In addition to renovating the current bathroom facilities, which have no ventilation systems, a unisex bathroom that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act will be added as well.

Switzer later said she believes that the city can get construction costs down to $182,512, with the extra $30,000 coming from the city’s general construction fund contingency. The remaining portion of the block grant fund is for permitting, architectural services and other costs.




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