CONVOCATION CENTER Control board looks to end bidding process

The board also will consider 19 change orders for the arena.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The city's board of control will consider eight contracts Thursday for the convocation center that would largely bring the bidding process for work at the facility to an end.
The contracts total $1,055,789 for work including landscaping, spotlights, portable staging, chairs, carpeting and two Zamboni ice rink machines.
"The recommendations for awards of the contracts takes us to the point where construction will be substantially complete when those work elements are finished," said Carmen S. Conglose Jr., the city's deputy director of public works.
The project is about 60 percent finished and on schedule for its Nov. 4 opening date.
At Thursday's meeting, the board of control plans to consider 19 change orders for work at the arena.
Of those, 12 add $67,191 to the project and seven reduce the cost of the project by $60,505.
"There are numerous change orders and most are fairly insignificant," Conglose said. "As in any large-scale construction project, there will be plus change orders and minus change orders."
Meeting costs
The convocation center is expected to cost about $45 million, but that figure is constantly changing, city Finance Director David Bozanich said.
Depending on various estimates, the city is about $8.15 million to $10.65 million short on funding the facility.
The city plans to sell a one-year note, with an interest rate in the low 5 percent range, to pay for that financing gap.
After the year, the city would convert what is owed on the note into a 20-year bond, with an interest rate in the high 5 percent range.
Bozanich and Mayor George M. McKelvey expect arena profits would be used to pay the facility's debt.
Mahoning County Treasurer John Reardon opted not to allow Youngstown to borrow $4.5 million from the county to pay for a portion of the facility.
Reardon was enthusiastic about the proposal Friday, but said Monday that he wouldn't make the deal because $4.5 million is "more than I care to invest in one project."

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