July 3, 2013

Templeton City Council members Tuesday night voted to approve construction plans and let bids on an estimated $1.4 million renovation of the former Sacred Heart Catholic School into a 700-person capacity city community center.

The city has scheduled a July 26 bid-opening on the project.

"Hopefully by the end of the month we'll have some bids back," said Mayor Ken Behrens.

The city, which will own and operate the community center, bid the complete project but expects it to be constructed in two phases, Behrens said.

The first phase will involve the north half of the center with, among other things, a renovation of the kitchen, bathrooms and development of a conference room. The goal is to have that complete by Dec. 1 so the facility can accommodate some events.

The 450-person banquet hall in the former six classrooms and office is expected to be handled in phase two, with an eye toward total project completion in the spring of 2014.

In fact, the city is already booking events for the fall of 2014.

The gymnasium will remain intact as it is good shape, Behrens said.

Organizers have raised $1.2 million toward the project, allowing the city to move forward. Grant applications and other fundraising efforts remain in the works for the final $200,000.

Andrews Roofing recently added a new roof at a cost of about $100,000. Badding Construction completed modifications on the classroom structure to open that area into one large room at a cost of $45,000. The asbestos has been removed at a cost of $62,000, Behrens said.