The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

October 23, 2012

Renaissance total cost reaching $34 million

ENID, Okla. — As the Enid Renaissance Project nears its final phases, brick and mortar costs remain around $24 million, but other enhancements will grow the project’s total costs to more than $34 million, according to city records.

Costs for construction of Enid Event Center and renovation of Convention Hall will total just more than $24 million. However, costs of the bricks-and-mortar portion of the construction will be enhanced by equipment purchases and furnishings, plus addition of wireless equipment and construction of parking, according to records provided by Ward 1 Commissioner Ron Janzen, upon request.

Budget breakdown provided by Commissioner Janzen

Actual cost breakdown provided by the city of Enid

Costs are separated into categories between funds paid and encumbrances, which are funds scheduled to be paid — like a mortgage. So far, $17,911,869 has been paid, with $16,532,022 encumbered, for an estimated total of $34,443,891, records show.

City Manager Eric Benson said the project is within budget.

“We haven’t paid out nearly the whole amount. We are still within budget,” he said.

Purchase of real estate has intrinsic value, he said, and some of it was purchased to protect property values of the area around the event center and Convention Hall. When that property is resold, it will bring added value to the area, Benson said.

“These were strategic investments,” he said.

When the property purchases were made, some were done to “clean up some nasty stuff” and eliminate eyesores, Benson said. He said the city controls the destinies of lots on the south side of Garriott, which allows the city to do development that enhances downtown.

Total Enid Renaissance Project costs are projected to be:

• $2,836,459 for design and architectural work.

• $24,996,915 for construction.

• $2,395,610 for parking lots.

• $278,535 for technology networks.

• $2,496,913 for real estate.

• $1,439,000 for fixtures, furniture and equipment.

Encumbered funds have not yet been spent, but are pending completion of a portion of the job. As of Sept. 28, the amount actually paid for Enid Renaissance Project is $17,911,869.

Janzen said that figure does not include burying electrical lines in the downtown area, which is estimated by OG&E Electric Services to cost about $1 million.

“We’re putting a couple of million in streets and sidewalks and downtown lighting,” Benson said. “We would have done that anyway, but it was time to do it. We waited for the downtown project. Was it part of that? Yes and no.

“We spent $24 million on bricks and mortar, but you have to have parking, and we have the money to spend. No one is having to pay for any of it,” he said.

The city provided records for Renaissance’s actual cost breakdown totaling $17,911,869 as of Oct. 2: design, survey and construction manager at-risk, $2,518,151; construction, $12,848,304; furniture, fixtures and equipment, $48,500; and real estate, $2,496,913.

The cost of Enid Renaissance Project has been a subject of controversy since the beginning, with Enid developer Bob Berry questioning the city’s figures and filing several lawsuits to force the city to change parts of the plan, including the original method of construction. City officials blame that change for adding costs to the process, which Berry denies, saying he only forced the city to do what it should have done in the first place.

Go to http://enidnews.com to view a budget breakdown provided by Commissioner Janzen and an actual cost breakdown provided by the city.

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