Blogs & News Articles

College Trustees Approve Design Services for Project

Posted in The Missourian: Thursday, May 14, 2015, 12:00 pm

East Central College trustees Monday night unanimously approved a contract with Cochran Engineering for professional design services for the renovation of the former Gala Center.

The college recently purchased the 19,807-square-foot building — previously used as an event center — to house career and technical programs. The building is located southeast of the main campus and sits on 4.33 acres. It includes parking for 255 vehicles.

Renovations will include creating a lab space where program equipment can be set up, as well as classrooms for instruction and offices for personnel.

The professional design phase of the project will cost $137,000, which includes fees for architectural, civil, structural and mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection design.

The firm also provided separate fees for the design of a loading dock and in-fill of the existing courtyard patio.

Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC president, noted that until work begins, officials will not know whether any of the additional services will be required. If so, the board will be asked to approve an addendum to the contract, he said.

Trustees approved the center’s purchase in April. The college paid $1.2 million for the building and property.

“Cochran is the firm that actually designed that building,” Bauer told the board. It was built in 2007.

The firm also assessed the building when the college was researching whether or not to move forward with the purchase.

“They’re both very familiar with the building and already familiar with our existing space utilization and how that facility can be used,” Bauer said. “They are uniquely qualified to do the design work.”

Design work will take place over the summer, Bauer said, with bid requests to go out in the fall. Renovation is expected to continue into the spring with an anticipated move-in date at the close of the spring 2016 semester.

To learn more about other Cochran projects with East Central College.

Re-Dedication of the Audrain County Courthouse

web-courthouseIMG_2443A Re-Dedication of the Audrain County Courthouse Grounds and Memorials will be held on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 16th at 10:00 AM. The ceremony will begin on the east side of the courthouse lawn with the raising of the flag.  Residents of Audrain County are encouraged to attend this historic event.

There will be many organizations from throughout the county participating in the event including 3175 MP Det1 First National Guard, Mexico, Audrain County VFW Post 3772, Vandalia VFW Post 2173, Mexico American Legion Post 26, Martinsburg American Legion Post 552, Laddonia Legion Post 510 and the Missouri Military Academy Choir.

The re-dedication will include the Lady of Liberty, Audrain County Veterans Memorials and the Exercise Tiger Memorial. The planning for the courthouse and grounds renovation began over three years ago and was completed May 1.

Mexico Chamber Newsletter May

Cochran Project Page

Fricks Market Earns Merchandising Award

Fricks-68-smallerPosted in The Missourian: Saturday, April 25, 2015, 6:32 pm | Updated: 8:14 am, Wed Apr 29, 2015.

Fricks Market, in Union, recently received a 2014 Excellence in Merchandising Award from the Springfield Division of Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. The recognition came during a ceremony in Branson on April 7.

The division honors one grocery retailer for excellence in merchandising or marketing in each of 10 categories. Fricks earned the Excellence in Merchandising Award in recognition of its outstanding salesmanship and presentation of AWG Brands items.

Owner, Jennifer Newbanks, together with the store manager, Michelle Kohler, and Kyle Kohler, grocery manager, accepted the award on behalf of the store following a short video presentation highlighting the store’s overall merchandising excellence in the category.

Winners of the division awards also are eligible to compete in the AWG Corporate Excellence in Merchandising Awards presented during the wholesaler’s annual meeting held in Kansas City, Kan.

“Independent retailers work very hard to be the best in the grocery business every single day,” said Tim Bellanti, senior vice president and division manager of AWG-Springfield. “It is with great pride that we recognize those merchants who excel in the critical areas of merchandising that make them unique and special in their marketplace.”

Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. is headquartered in Kansas City, Kan., and is the second-largest retailer-owned grocery wholesaler in the United States, serving more than 3,400 member grocery stores in over 30 states via its seven grocery distribution centers.

AWG-Springfield serves about 360 stores in Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, and Oklahoma.

Read more about Frick’s Market.

Commission moves Forward with Federal Process on Old Bridge

By Josh Mitchell, Missourian Staff Writer | Posted: Saturday, February 21, 2015, 1:00 pm

What will happen to the old Bend Road bridge remains unclear. The nearly 100 ­year ­old bridge near Pacific has been controversial as county officials move forward with a plan to tear down the bridge even though a local nonprofit group has expressed interest in preserving it as a hiking and biking trail. The bridge is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, according to the Historic Bridge Foundation of Austin, Texas. Since the county is using federal money for the new bridge project, that means the county has to go through a federal Section 106 process under the National Historic Preservation Act before tearing down the old bridge. The new bridge project includes $150,000 in federal money to tear down the old bridge. The new bridge will be south of the existing bridge meaning the old one is not in its way. The Magi Foundation of Pacific has said it would like to preserve the old bridge, but the county commission has rejected the group’s interest and voted to move forward with demolition. But the Magi Foundation has vowed to keep up its efforts to save the bridge despite the county’s rejection.

This week, the county commission approved a contract amendment with Cochran Engineering of Union for $4,750 to get the federal process underway. The work will be done by Cochran’s sub-consultant, SCI Engineering of Union. Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said part of the federal process involves making the old bridge available to be taken over by another party. However, just because a group makes a proposal to take the bridge, Griesheimer said it is his understanding that the county does not have to accept it. “It’s still our bridge,” Griesheimer asserted. Therefore, if a group makes an offer and the commission does not think it is in the best interest of the county, then he thinks that the offer can be rejected.

He said he does not think there is any way there can be dialogue started between the county and the Magi Foundation to preserve the bridge as a trail. “There is no support here for that bridge to remain,” Griesheimer said. Property owners near the bridge don’t want the bridge, and the county does not want to “saddle” the sheriff’s office with the responsibility of patrolling the bridge, Griesheimer added.

Moreover, keeping the old bridge presents other liability concerns for the county, Griesheimer said. If the city of Pacific wanted to take the bridge, the county would be glad to turn it over if the city annexed all the way to the bridge so the county would not have to provide the law enforcement, Griesheimer said. If someone wants to dismantle the bridge and move it, the county would consider that, he said. Steve Myers with the Magi Foundation could not be reached for comment Friday morning. The Section 106 process will include the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation being invited by the Federal Highways Administration to take part in the consultation. “It’s just part of the federal highway procedures that need to be done in order to follow through with whatever is going to be done with that bridge,” said county Highway Administrator Ron Williams. Williams added that the county would like to get the process started soon, adding that the county wants to bid out the new bridge project later this year. It could take three to four months to get the Section 106 process done, he said, adding that the county is at the mercy of the federal agency. “It’s a process, but it’s going to have to be followed,” Williams said.