Final senior center designs near completion

Gray Hughes

The Hill City Business Improvement District Board (BID board) took the time to answer some questions pertaining to the renovation of Hill City Senior Center its last meeting.

At a meeting Feb. 6, Brett McMacken, city administrator for Hill City, updated the board with the progress of the plans for the renovation and addition to Hill City Senior Center, informing the board that he just received an email that day from architect Donovan Broberg with ARC International.

“We should be able to bring the drawings and specs to 100 percent by Feb. 21,” the email reads.

In the email, Broberg said he expects there to be an increase in the cost of the design of $5,750 — $2,000 for the addition of an HVAC system from Skyline Design and $3,750 for the redesign for the adjusted size of the project.

Broberg explained in the email that the redesign resulted in a smaller site so the HVAC equipment needed to be moved to a redesigned roof. Final site design also needed to incorporate what Broberg described as “originally unforeseen components” regarding site draining from the west near the alley, sidewalk from the southeast portion of the site and buried propane tank feeding two buildings.

Buzz Grover, project manager for the redesign of the senior center, addressed the board next.

“I’ve been pushing for (having the designs today),” he said. “I was hoping we’d have a final design but there have been issues with the mechanical engineering.”

Grover said he met with the mechanical engineers at Skyline Design recently and they went over the plans. The kitchen at the senior center will need to have its own electrical panel. There will also need to be a grease trap in the kitchen as has become standard practice in many commercial-grade kitchens being built.

Some steel and a minor slope in the roof where the heating and air conditioning units will go is needed as well.

“As you know that will be an additional cost,” Grover said. “An additional cost for the second HVAC system and a separate cost for exhaust and electrical panels.”

Grover reiterated that they are expecting to have final designs by Feb. 21. He said he has seen the mechanical engineering blueprints for the building and they are extensive.

The mechanical engineering design, McMacken said, give a general idea as to what is going to happen with the project.

“The senior center has (the design), and they seem OK for what they are doing.”

The question was asked if the kitchen will use gas or electric for the appliances.

The senior center wants to “shy away” from using gas, said Dale Householder, president of the Hill City Senior Center. Then the question of what the senior center would be doing themselves arose.

“All appliances, all plumbing fixtures, all cabinetry will be installed by the senior center,” Householder said. “If they do the rough-in and hood we’ll do the rest because the hood fan needs to go through the roof, and once it goes out to bid I’ll have to go to the state health inspector.”

Doug Peters, a member of the BID board, said it was great the senior center will be doing everything from the rough-in in.

Regarding a question in the email where Broberg asked what the senior center will be doing regarding construction, McMacken asked Householder what conversations they’ve had regarding a timeline. Just as long as there is a functional kitchen come Sturgis Rally time, Householder said, they will be OK.

“You can get to a point that the kitchen will be up and running before the addition,” McMacken said. “But it will take some coordinating.”

In regards to the timeline of the project, Householder said they don’t need to worry about the Plein Air Paint Out because that will be held in a different location this year.

McMacken wondered if the construction could be finished by the time of the rally.

“I don’t think that’s realistic,” Householder said. “If it’s done by the end of the year we’ll be tickled pink.”

As long as the senior center is happy timing will be OK, Grover said. They will need to shut down construction during the rally, though.

Peters said that they should be careful to make sure the kitchen is ready more than a day before the rally starts to give the senior center time to move in supplies and get accustomed to it. McMacken said in the bid documents that they would include something that says construction needs to be halted during the rally.

Peters then asked if doing it by the end of the year is realistic.

“I think that’s too much time, personally, but we’ll discuss it with ARC,” Grover said.

At the end of the meeting McMacken said he would include in an email that the next BID board meeting would be March 5. The drawings will be complete by then and would be able to  be reviewed and a recommendation to council as to how to proceed with the drawings can be made.

For next steps regarding the alleyway project McMacken said notices have been put in the paper. There will be a pre-bid meeting with city engineer Kale McNaboe before the bids are opened Feb. 25 at Hill City City Hall at 3 p.m.

“Once the bids are open we’ll know dollar amounts,” McMacken said. The bids will be reviewed at the Mach 5 meeting of the BID board and the council will act on the bids at its meeting March 9.

The alleyway project has an end date of June 12.

“Now I need to get easements from the businesses along the alleyway,” he said. “The message is that you’ll need to be patient, but once it’s done you’ll have a nice new alley, and it will be worth it.”

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