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September 29, 2013

A lot of interest in proposed Greenville YMCA

More than 20 firms submit qualifications on project

GREENVILLE — Apparently there are quite a few architects and engineers who want to work on the upcoming Greenville YMCA/event center project.

So many firms expressed interest that it will be a while before City Manager Massoud Ebrahim can narrow down the list to just the finalists.

“It is going to take two to three months for me and my staff to process those and select the top three,” Ebrahim said Friday.

The city advertised a request for qualifications, soliciting statements of qualifications from professional architects and engineering firms “who have extensive experience in the planning, design, and construction management of public recreation facilities.”

The winning firms would be responsible for crafting the design for what would become a proposed 75,000 square foot YMCA, with a triple gymnasium and natatorium.

The submissions were due by Sept. 20.

“I did receive 21 submissions from engineers and architects who were interested in our project,” Ebrahim said.

In May, voters in Greenville approved the issuance of $15 million in general obligation bonds to pay for the construction of a YMCA/event center.

The building will be owned by the City of Greenville and leased to and operated by the YMCA or other public or private entity as a commercial activity community events/recreation center. The facility would be located in the Greenville SportsPark on Monty Stratton Parkway. Organizers of the project said they have received commitments from several entities toward the cost of the facility, which could reduce the potential tax burden.

According to the city’s request, companies were required to provide a statement indicating they understand the potential character of the work, a list of five previous and comparable projects in which the company was involved, and a completed “showcase” project of relative size and scope which would be visited by City of Greenville officials.

Ebrahim said at the present time he is awaiting the go ahead from the city council to begin reviewing the submissions. He expects to brief the council during one of the meetings in October.

“Once I get a direction from the council I can begin the process,” Ebrahim said, adding it will involve looking over the work the companies have performed in the past and what they may have in mind for Greenville’s facility.

“And then we will select the top three as the firms we are going to deal with,” Ebrahim said, meaning those architects and/or engineers with whom the city will enter into negotiations regarding a contract. Once a final firm is chosen, the contract will be presented to the council for approval.

“And the whole process is going to take two or three months,” Ebrahim said.

In August, the council approved a resolution, allowing the City of Greenville to pay for some of the work which may be needed prior to the issuance of the bonds early next year, which would then be paid back once the bonds are sold.

The YMCA/event center is expected to include all of the trappings of an athletic center, as well as space for a healthcare/clinic component and a separate childcare component, “and other spaces unique to a state of the art, full service, urban recreational facility.”

There is a $13.5 million projected construction budget for the facility.

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