Foundation makes large donation
An announcement of a significant contribution from the Raymond and Florence Erlandson Foundation will result in the city of Cherokee moving forward with the total community center project, including lighting and sound improvements.
John Cook, representing the foundation board, informed the Cherokee City Council on Tuesday that the foundation was aware the city council had discussed delaying part of the community center improvements to a later date, taking care of roof replacement, heating, air conditioning, windows, electrical work and landscaping under one general contractor bid this year while delaying lighting and sound work for the great room where performances and public and private gatherings are held.
The cost of the delayed items was estimated at around $70,000. He said that the foundation board decided to underwrite the delayed portion of the project and has given the city clerk a check for $35,000.
The remaining portion will be determined after the bid process is completed, a process that the foundation board wants to be involved in.
At past council meetings, the original specifications for the lighting system and the sound system came under criticism from Wayne Morris who does technical work for community events, including performances of the Cherokee Community Theater and the Cherokee Symphony.
Morris said the specifications called for systems that were too expensive and too complicated to be practical for the community center.
"If Wayne Morris is happy, we're happy," John Cook said at the Tuesday meeting of the council.
Morris was at the Tuesday council meeting and said he would like to be involved in determining the type of sound and lighting systems that will be used.
The announcement of the foundation donation preceded the presentation of community center project specifications by Rick Dean of the Cannon, Moss and Brygger architectural firm. The specifications have the lighting and sound system separated out as alternates that will be modified and likely be contracted separately.
He noted that the other projects will all be done by one general contractor who will be responsible for the subcontractors' work.
A bid opening has been set for Feb. 21 with a contract approved at the Feb. 26 council meeting. The work could take six to nine months but some events will take place during this period.
Dean said that contractors will be informed prior to bidding that they have to work around continued operation of the community center.