Arena needs project manager

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— Although Routt County is taking steps to build a new arena for the fairgrounds, the facility may not be completed for the upcoming fair in August.

On Tuesday, the Routt County Board of Commissioners hired Pro Steel Erectors to construct the steel building at the fairgrounds in Hayden.

The county will pay the Rush business $75,000 to build the arena, which was purchased by the county earlier this year for $213,000 from a Loveland company.

County officials approved of this bid because Pro Steel Erectors provided an economical price and will pitch in $18,750 of donated labor.

"I really feel good about the price," Commissioner Doug Monger said.

Although a company is in place to construct the building, the project lacks a construction manager, said Terry Doherty, administrative assistant to the fair board.

"We are in desperate need of a construction manager to coordinate the construction of the project," Doherty said. "It would take almost a minor miracle to have the building complete by the fair."

For the past two years, county officials have targeted and hyped the arena as the centerpiece of the upcoming 88th Routt County Fair.

Now that the fair is about four months away, Doherty said she is hopeful a construction manager could be brought on board quickly to meet the goal.

Last week, county officials sent out information to prospective firms that specialize in construction management to bid on the project.

Doherty is hopeful bids will be sent into the county later this week so county commissioners could act on the bids next week.

"We are on track," Doherty said. "But I can't guarantee the arena will be completely done by the fair."

Officials are hopeful construction of the building will start in June.

If completed in time, the new building would host horse events and livestock shows and sales.

County officials purchased the building from EagleSpan Steel Structures Inc.

The firm is expected to deliver the steel building to the fairgrounds by the end of May or early June.

The cost of the building includes lighting, insulation and painting the inside of the arena but does not include site preparation or the construction of the facility.

To purchase the building, the county used $167,000 in lottery funds and $38,000 raised by local 4-H clubs throughout the county.

The county is using a $300,000 Energy Impact Grant to pay for the construction of the building.

The grant is also being used to pay for site preparation that has to be done prior to construction.

The project has been made possible by fund-raising efforts done in the past two years by local 4-H clubs and the Routt County Fair Board.

Along with the Energy Impact Grant, the board has also received grants from the Gates Foundation and Yampa Valley Community Foundation. Other grant applications are pending, including a $50,000 Great Outdoors Colorado grant.

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