Community Center action continues

Above: A sign marking the future home of the proposed community center recently went up along Johnson Street in Fairmont.

FAIRMONT — The proposed Fairmont Area Community Center continues to move forward. The Community Center Advisory Board went over proposals for a construction manager during its meeting on Wednesday, and the Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation and Capital Campaign Committee are busy with fundraising efforts.

During Wednesday’s meeting, City Administrator Cathy Reynolds said five proposals were received. She told the board the next step is for them to go through and do scoring for each proposal.

“That will come back to staff and we’ll calculate it out and pull together the interviews,” Reynolds said.

She shared packets containing the proposals with the six board members, but told members that they cannot share any of the information, as it is not public data at this point in time.

However, the proposals will become public after a contract is signed with the selected company.

Board member Mike Edman asked how many of the proposals will move to the interview process.

“It depends on how they score out. If we wanted to we could interview all five, but it depends on how they score out,” Reynolds said.

The board members briefly looked through the packet as Reynolds told them what to look for, including team and personnel experience, reputation, safety record, project approach and proposed fees.

She encouraged the board members to focus more on the hourly rates and the percentage they’re proposing, rather than the bottom line number.

Edman said, assuming the companies are Twin Cities-based, it’s important to ask about their process for making sure local contractors feel like they have an opportunity to bid.

Four board members will review the proposals, along with Reynolds and city engineer Troy Nemmers. Board members Lisa Kuhl and Mike Edman will participate in the interviews, along with Reynolds and Nemmers.

Reynolds asked that the board members get in their score sheets by Monday, Oct. 18, and the plan is to hold interviews the week of Oct. 25. They’ll be done either in person or virtually, depending on what the selected companies prefer.

Reynolds said they’re on track for bringing a recommendation for a construction manager to the Nov. 8 city council meeting.

“We’re on track to keep all of this rolling,” said Reynolds.

Amy Long is a member of the Fairmont Area Community Center Foundation, which she said is newly established and also includes Fred Krahmer, John Edman, Karin Rosen and John Kasper.

Long said they’ve spent the past two months getting organized, which has included getting pledge forms and gift agreements ready.

“Our intent is to have pledge forms pushed out to the public within the next week or two,” Long shared.

She said they’re working on getting that information out on their website, FairmontCommunityCenter.com and on their Facebook page. She said they’re also working on the ability to get it set up so that people can donate easily online.

Long said that the Capital Campaign Committee is a standing committee of the Foundation. It’s made up of about a dozen community members who are working on advertising and marketing efforts. The committee recently designed and purchased a banner which was put up at site of the proposed community center.


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