Silver City residents won't have to wait much longer to get their Schoolhouse community center started - construction should begin by Feb. 26.
County Engineer Dick Faber said a pre-construction meeting is scheduled for Tuesday and construction would begin on the 26th, eliciting a loud cheer from the dozen or so Silver City residents who came to hear the Lyon County Commission vote unanimously to accept the low bid of $763,078 from Building Solutions LLC.
The vote came two years, seven months and eight days since July 7, 2004, when the historic Silver City Schoolhouse community center, built in 1867, burned in a fire believed to be sparked by county employees using welding torches to install air conditioning.
Silver City Town Board chairman Erich Obermayr recalled that just after the fire, Commissioner Bob Milz had said rebuilding was the right thing to do.
"We have found that the right thing to do is not always the easy thing to do," Obermayr said. "Not only is it the right thing to do, but it's the best thing to do."
He said that the approval was "for one small community in Lyon County and a vote for every community in Lyon County.
Ron Reno, an archaeology professor heavily involved in salvaging items from and pieces of the old building, said the new building would look like the old but have the modern capabilities of the 21st century.
"It will meet the requirements of continuity for the historic commission and meet modern needs," he said.
Milz acknowledged the vote was a long time coming and thanked the Silver City residents for their patience.
"This is the center of life in Silver City," he said. "Children meet there and it's unfortunate it has taken this long."
The bid is based on the original Cathexes Inc. plans that include a basement and have already been approved by the Comstock Historic District, Faber said. He added that he included figures from the contractors that did not include the basement in case the conflict with the insurance company goes to an arbitrator.
The next lowest bid was $832,700 by Bison Construction, followed by Devcon Construction at $872,000 and Reyman Brothers Construction, whose bid was $934,929.
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