Avalon design process whizzing along

The Avalon Theatre addition and renovation project is moving through the design phase with all of the core and half of the total scope completed, officials reported to the Grand Junction City Council this week.

Council members approved the architectural services contract for the transformation of the 91-year-old theater into a full-service performing arts center. The request amended the contract by $392,800, which is split among project partners: the Avalon Theatre Foundation Board, the Downtown Development Authority and the city.

“I want the public to understand that while you’re going to see the Avalon in front of council a lot this year ... we’re going to be within the budget identified,” said Councilor Tom Kenyon, referring to the $3 million approved in June.

The next steps will be to complete the final design, take the documents out for bidding in January or February, and then construction is estimated to begin in April, said Engineering Manager Trent Prall.

What came before the council is not a request for new resources, but permission to move forward with this element, he said.

Economic, Convention and Visitor Services Director Debbie Kovalik said that they are using a wide variety of local architects and they expect a number of local and state bidders as they move into construction.

“It will be kind of a hallmark for any contractor to be a part of ... in terms of its scope and what it means for the region,” she said.

Some of the components of this estimated $14 million project include an expanded lobby, a new elevator, new seating with an increase to 1,100, an expanded stage and a roof-top terrace. The Avalon Foundation met this week to get ready for a public campaign for fundraising for the terrace.

Grant applications have been filed and a number of larger donors have been contacted in the last couple months, Kovalik said.

Next is to take it to the public, she said, adding that they are looking into naming rights options.


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