Nearly two years after receiving a Community Development Block Grant for the project, the city is preparing to begin the renovation of the building on Garden Avenue housing the local Boys and Girls Club.
At last week’s special meeting, the Roswell City Council approved a $1,048,124 bid from White Sands Construction of Alamagordo for the project.
The city received one other bid from EPPX Construction, Albuquerque, for $1,190,501. City Engineer Louis Najar told the City Council two local companies had attended the pre-bid meeting but did not submit bids.
In September 2018, the city was awarded a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state for the project. The city’s Engineering Department will pay for external work including the parking lot, sidewalks and ramps at a cost of $113,209. That money will come from a fund used to fix sidewalks and ramps, Najar told the City Council.
The total cost of the project, including engineering services, administrative costs and replacement of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, is $1,138,389. The remaining $275,286 will be taken from the city’s cash balance, Najar said.
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The renovation of the 56-year-old city building at 201 S. Garden Ave. will touch almost the entire property except for the kitchen, Najar said. The Boys and Girls Club leases the building from the city.
The gym will get new flooring, lighting and structural reinforcement in the roof. Tile in the classrooms and offices will be removed and replaced with polished concrete floors. The walls will be patched and painted in the city’s standard off-white and brown. Ceiling tiles in each office and the multipurpose room will be replaced, and a new fire alarm system will be installed.
To repair cracks in the walls, helical piers will be installed 60 feet into the ground. The steel, screw-like shafts will lift and support the walls.
A start date for the renovation has not been set, pending a pre-construction conference with the contractor, Najar told the Roswell Daily Record, but he told the council the renovation is expected to be finished in February.
The biggest benefit to the organization will be upgrading the lighting to energy-efficient LED lights, Boys and Girls Club Director Tim Coughlin said.
“We pay the utility bills and I will tell you that’s a big chunk of change for the electrical bill,” he said.
Most of the building is lit by fluorescent tubes and the gym has 500-watt sodium lights, he said.
“Some of those haven’t worked for a long time. In fact, we don’t turn the lights on except during winter to try and use the natural lighting to keep the energy costs down,” he said.
The HVAC systems — 13 of them — will all be replaced, and the city will actually be saving some money from the previous estimates, Najar said.
Estimates a year ago and just prior to the COVID-19 pandemic put the cost at $80,000, Najar said. However, since the pandemic started, other clients have canceled projects and the contractor has full warehouses. The cost of the HVAC will now be just under $60,000.
Coughlin said once the renovation is finished, the organization might do some fundraising for exterior improvements.
“There’s some stuff we would like to see done, like the front of the building made more appealing. The board has already talked about let’s see what’s going to be done and then we can see about possibly raising some funds and taking care of some of that other stuff that needs to be done as well, small projects,” he said.
The building has not been in use this summer, as the organization partnered with the city to offer youth programs at the Roswell Recreation and Aquatic Center, 1402 College Blvd.
Like many other programs, however, it had to be scaled back due to state health orders with the pandemic.
“We were originally looking at 125 kids. We are under 20 kids and that’s mostly because of the current guidelines for social distancing and group sizes,” Coughlin said.
The staff at the Recreation and Aquatic Center has been good to work with, though, and the summer partnership might continue in the future, he said.
The Boys and Girls Club is also waiting to see what happens with the schools and might modify its program offerings during the school year, Coughlin said.
“We’re more than likely going to have to continue an all-day program starting at 7:30 in the morning, especially while these kids are in a virtual environment, parents still need to go to work. There needs to be a safe place for those kids,” he said.
The organization usually has a 15-to-1 ratio of children to staff, but its summer program is running at 9-to-1 to comply with the health order.
City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or firstname.lastname@example.org.