If proposals match grant dollars for the City of Sequim, the Guy Cole Mini-Convention Center in Carrie Blake Park could reopen in late March 2017.
City staff revealed a list of projects on June 27 to Sequim city councilors that they feel are needed for the facility to be a viable resource for residents again.
“We’re really operating under council’s guidance and our own intuition to get the building back open,” said City Manager Charlie Bush.
“(We’re asking), what do we need to do to sure it up, have it better looking, more marketable and more useful.”
City councilors unanimously agreed on a scope of work for the facility, including:
• Dropping the ceiling and adding new lighting
• Replacing HVAC units
• Replacing windows and doors
• Remodeling the kitchen — upgrading appliances and the cook line suppression system
• Installing new flooring
• Painting inside and installing new window treatments
• Installing a new metal roof
City councilors agreed in March to partner with Washington’s Department of Enterprise Services to conduct a free energy audit of the convention center.
However, city councilors agreed on June 27 not to work with the state service and lead the project in-house by hiring a general contractor by the end of July.
Public Works Director David Garlington said the audit was less detailed than city staff anticipated but they’ll use as many elements of it as possible.
“Energy conservation is still high on the list,” he said.
Garlington and other city staff reiterated the main goal is to reopen the facility so that it is of interest to the community for use.
Former city councilor Ken Hays, who pushed for remodeling the facility years prior, will develop some specifications for the request for proposals for the contractors, said Joe Irvin, assistant to the city manager/parks manager.
“That should keep us in line with the original vision,” Irvin said.
Sequim city councilors endorsed a floor and elevation plan of the center in November 2014 following an effort to widen its usefulness and attractiveness to locals and visitors that started even a few years prior.
Irvin said city staff hopes to have a general contractor on board by September and have everything finished by end of March 2017.
What will be remodeled depends on how far a $436,500 grant, secured as part of the 2015-2017 Washington State Capital Budget through the Department of Commerce Direct Grant Program, will reach.
Cost estimates for the original conceptual design for the center ranged from $800,000-$1.2 million in 2014. City staff requested $750,000 from the state in grants but received $450,000 with an administrative fee lowering the grant total.
Irvin said the original proposal will be changed to account for the costs and that items such as installing esthetically pleasing garage doors and adding a new power unit would be part of another phase for the center.
“We will find out real quickly with the RFP (how much we can afford),” Irvin said.
He added that the kitchen could make costs rise higher than the grant but he wanted to include it and approach it again after a contract is put forward.
City Councilor Pamela Leonard-Ray said she’s pleased the projects include remodeling the kitchen and upgrading the equipment.
“It looks to me this will get the facility up and running and able to be rented again,” she said. “That’s important.”
The Guy Cole Mini-Convention Center was built from 1981-1983 by members of the Sequim Lions Club and named after a former member. They donated it to the City of Sequim.
Students with the North Peninsula Skills Center started work in the fall of 2014 on the center, building a wall and kitchen space in the east wing, saving the city some on construction costs.
City councilors previously mentioned looking into volunteers to help with elements of the project but no one is committed at this time.
The center was last rented in December 2015.
For more information on the Guy Cole Mini-Convention Center, visit www.sequimwa.gov or call 683-4908.