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Perham City Council approves changes to cut costs on Hub remodel

The Perham City Council has approved changes to the Hub remodel project.

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The Hammers Construction crew began the demolition of the old Perham High School's east end and administration wing on Monday, Jan. 18. The structure was separated from the west wing the previous week. The remaining part of the building will be remodeled into the Hub after the demolition is completed. The remodeled part of the Hub project will be completed by Tradesman Construction and has an estimated completion date of Sept. 3. The City of Perham purchased the old high school from the Perham-Dent Public Schools with the intent of transforming it into the Hub. Once complete the Hub will serve as a new home for Perham's Boys and Girls Club and Empowering Kids. . (RosaLin Alcoser/Focus)

The Perham City Council approved changes to the Hub project at a special City Council meeting held before the Committee of the Whole meeting on Jan. 27.

The Hub project is a remodel of the now city-owned building that was once Perham High School. Once remodeled, the Hub will serve as a new home for Perham’s Boys and Girls Club and Empowering Kids.

When the city accepted the remodel bid of just over $6 million from Tradesman Construction, the bid included some cost alternatives that could be left out of the remodel to save cost.

The alternatives that the council approved to be changed from the remodel would be eliminating 12-foot by 12-foot skylights in a classroom to add natural light, saving the city about $76,307; eliminating two windows in the gym to bring in natural light, saving about $7,201; eliminating playground fencing, saving $65,700; and dropping the remodel of the greenhouse, saving $35,900.

Perham City Manager Jonathan Smith said both the Boys and Girls Club and Empowering Kids have agreed that all of these cost alternatives, except for the playground fencing would be nice to have but they could live without.

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Smith said the fencing could be done separately for about $30,000 to $35,000 outside of the bid made by Tradesman.

Other business discussed by the Committee of the Whole:

  • The Perham Area Public Library is holding its Hot Reads for Cold Nights adult reading incentive from January through the end of March. The program is designed to encourage adults to read and contains small prizes throughout the program.

  • The Perham Area Community Center reported that it is are operating with 68% of the membership that it had before the pandemic. The current retention percentage rate is higher than was expected at this point in the pandemic.

  • The efforts to raise $7.5 million for the PACC remodel are coming to an end on Jan. 31. The project is currently behind schedule and bids for the remodel will be accepted in March.

  • The preliminary application that the Economic Development Agency made to the Small Cities Development Program has been selected to move onto the final application round. The final application will be submitted to the Department of Employment and Economic Development by March 12.

  • An informational meeting will be held in the council chambers and over Zoom at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11, for those in the Yellow Pine development, near the golf course, on the possibility of these houses located in Perham Township being hooked into city utilities. The meeting is being held now that a survey has been taken of the homeowners in the development to gauge interest in the project. Because the development would have to be annexed in order to incorporate the homes into the city utilities the project will only be further pursued if a large enough percentage of the homeowners wish to pursue the project.

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