Plans for convention center drain repairs move forward

Project can be tackled in late fall, early spring

HOLLIDAYSBURG — Plans are moving forward to repair a broken drainage pipe allowing stormwater to collect at the intersection of Convention Center Drive and Convention Center Boulevard.

The Blair County Convention Center and Sports Facilities Authority acknowledged Wednesday that it will support the project and pay about 30 percent of the $167,121 contract.

The county, which owns and maintains Convention Center Boulevard — known as County Road 105 — is committed to covering 70 percent of the cost.

The latest advertisement for the repairs indicates that they can be tackled in late fall or early spring, so long as the work is finished by July 3, 2020, convention center Facility Manager Steve Despot told the authority, which met Wednesday.

Commissioners, during their Sept. 10 meeting, approved the $167,121 contract with Excavating Associates of Ellerslie, Md., based on the company’s bid.

Prior to the Sept. 10 meeting, Project Manager Brian Wiser of Keller Engineers advised commissioners that five contractors responded to the most recent advertisement for the repair work. The second-to-lowest bid was $180,576, as submitted by CHD Enterprises of New Stanton. The highest of the five bids, at $292,292, was rendered by Grannas Brothers of Hollidaysburg.

Earlier this year, commissioners backed away from a price of almost $270,000 for the repairs, which commissioners deemed to be too expensive based on projections.

That price of $270,000 was also too high for the authority to consider, authority Chairman Richard Karcher acknowleged at Wednesday’s meeting.

When electing to readvertise the job, Beam said the project’s timeframe was adjusted so that contractors would have more time to undertake and complete the work. The earlier bids, it was believed, may have been high because they were based on a timeframe for the project to be completed this year.

Despot also advised the convention center authority that no reason has been identified as to why the stormwater pipe has broken. It may be possible to identify a reason while the repair work is being done, he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Kay Stephens is at 946-7456.