Fremont City Council members approved a bid from Cheever Construction of Lincoln for the renovation of Fremont City Auditorium.
The firm came in with the lowest bid of $2,711,000, which includes work involving:
- Installation of a complete, new roof, fire sprinkler system and information technology equipment.
- Gym floor refurbishment.
- Updates on current heating and cooling systems, plumbing, an existing meeting room and the kitchen.
- Construction of handicapped accessible bathrooms on the main floor.
- Addition of a smaller meeting room.
Because the base bid came in under the anticipated budget by Schemmer Associates, Inc., alternate projects were able to be included.
Those projects are:
- A dividing partition in the large gym area.
- Auditorium sound system equipment.
- Repair and repainting of existing wood exterior windows.
- New storm windows.
- Acoustical wall panels.
Work under the contract will include all material, labor, tools, expendable equipment, utility and transportation services.
Schemmer, an architectural, engineering and construction consultant, reviewed four bids submitted for the project and recommended Cheever Construction for the job.
The three other bidders and their bids were:
- Lund Ross, $2,891,000.
- Prairie Construction, $3,025,000.
- Elkhorn West Construction, $3,281,000.
Kim Koski, director of the Fremont Parks and Recreation Department, said $3,875,000 is available for the project.
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“The remaining $1,164,000 will be used for asbestos abatement, tables, chairs, TVs and other miscellaneous items for the project,” Koski said.
Koski had recommended that the city council accept the bid from Cheever Construction and authorize Mayor Scott Getzschman to sign the contract with Cheever.
Built during the Great Depression, the city auditorium was dedicated in 1937.
Throughout the years, the building has served generations of Fremonters who’ve come here for a variety of activities — from wedding receptions to pancake feeds and volleyball games.
The Art Deco-style building at 925 N. Broad St., was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.
In May 2018, Fremonters passed a $2 million bond issue with funds going toward auditorium renovation.
Besides funds generated by the bond issue, the city has $750,000 budgeted for the project.
In April, Koski announced that the city also got a $1.125 million grant from the Civic and Community Center Financing Fund for the renovation.
CCCFF grants are awarded to municipalities on a competitive basis and administered by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED).
The approximately 28,750-square-foot auditorium includes a main floor that’s 19,506 square feet. The main floor was used as a distribution site, stocked with a host of supplies for people affected by flooding in March.
Renovation is expected to be finished by the summer of 2020.