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Hotel Atwater renovation project gets final go-ahead

ATWATER -- After a long series of stop-and-go decisions that spanned several years, the renovation of the historic Hotel Atwater is a definite go.

In a unanimous vote Wednesday, the Atwater City Council agreed to proceed with the massive renovation of the 1904-era building.

The city intends to relocate its municipal offices, police department and library in the former hotel. The project has the support of the Minnesota Historical Society, which is providing $130,000 in grant money to help pay for the project.

After reviewing the five submitted bids, the council awarded a bid of $495,425 to Gopher State Construction of Rice.

Work is expected to begin Nov. 29.

The council was pleased with the $486,482 base bid provided by Gopher State Construction. Members approved several alternate components to the project including renovating the building's storefront to the original design and adding an automatic handicapped-accessible door in the rear of the building.

The city has already spent $42,420 on tuckpointing the exterior brick, and a bid of $29,274 was previously awarded for repairing the roof. Additional money has also been spent on paying the engineer, Engan Associates, of Willmar, for designing the new layout.

There will be a contingency fund of $82,000 to allow for any construction surprises, said City Clerk Goldie Smith.

The city will use money from its savings account and the grant money to pay for the project.

The next step in the process is to add support beams to realign the weight of the roof before the new roof is installed. The roofing project is expected to be completed this fall.

The rest of the project work will extend well into next year.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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