Steamboat Springs With a construction manager expected to be on board by the end of today, Routt County officials said Monday the new arena for the fairgrounds is back on track to open in time for the fair.
The Routt County Board of Commissioners is expected to hire a construction manager this afternoon after officials put the project on a fast track by conducting an informal bidding process.
"We put the request for bids out on a very short timeline," Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak said. "We are very dedicated to get this facility complete by the fair. It is our full intention to make that happen."
Last week, the county hired Pro Steel Erectors to construct the steel building at the fairgrounds in Hayden, but the project lacked a construction manager.
Without a construction manager, officials last week expressed concern the arena may not be built in time for the 88th Routt County Fair in August.
Attitudes among officials have changed because three firms have submitted formal bids since the county started the informal process about two weeks ago.
Commissioners will choose between Five Pine Construction, TCD, Inc., and Holmquist-Lorenz Construction Co.
Commissioners may also review additional bids that are expected to be submitted this morning from other firms interested in coordinating the construction.
"Everything is in place for the building to be up by fair," said Terry Doherty, administrative assistant to the fair board.
Last week, Doherty was skeptical the project would be done in time if a construction manager was not hired this week.
"I was so relieved," Doherty said when three firms submitted proposals by Monday. "It was an answer to a prayer."
The county decided to conduct an informal bidding process through an exception in the county's bidding process.
According to policy, the county must to bid all construction contracts more than $5,000 through a formal bidding process.
However, the county can waive the formal process if a department can show one of three hardships.
According to officials, the waiver was granted because the formal process may cause undue delay or hardship for a department or office.
Although the county is conducting an informal bidding process, officials are making sure it is fair.
"We need to ensure that anyone who is interested in this project has a chance to submit a proposal," Stahoviak said.
The county contacted a number of firms through a mailing and has extended the deadline for proposals until today for firms that became aware of the project in the past few days.
On Monday, commissioners and members of the fair board briefly discussed the proposals submitted by the three firms.
The construction manager will be hired not only on the monetary bid.
The firm's track record and willingness to donate labor will also be a significant factor, officials said.
"We need someone who can step in and get this project done immediately," said Medora Fralick, who has helped the fair board raise funds for the arena.
Because work for the arena is being done by a number of local businesses that have donated labor, a construction manager is critical in making sure the arena gets built in a timely fashion.
Last week, commissioners agreed to pay Pro Steel Erectors $75,000 to build the $213,000 arena.
County officials approved of this bid because the Rush company provided an economical price and will pitch in $18,750 of donated labor.
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 in early June.
If completed in time, the new building would host horse events and livestock shows and sales.
"Barring any hitches this arena will be built in time for the fair," Stahoviak said.
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 in 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.