Theater-style seating for Colonial Arts Center to cost less than what city administrators had predicted

BUCKHANNON – The cost of purchasing and installing balcony and telescopic theater-style seating for the newly renovated Colonial Arts Center will amount to significantly less than city officials anticipated they would have to pay.  

At Buckhannon City Council’s March 2 meeting, city finance and administrative director said the City of Buckhannon had received two bids in response to its Request for Proposals for seating installation in the Colonial Theatre. The two proposals – one from the Stonemile Group and a second from Maffei Strayer Furnishings – requested quotations for fixed or permanent seating for approximately 80 people in the balcony of the CAC and telescopic, i.e., retractable seating for 124 people in the main performance hall.

The low bidder was Maffei Strayer Furnishings headquartered in Pittsburgh, with a quote of approximately $174,200 compared to the much higher quote from Stonemile Group, which came in at $391,604.

The initial quote from Maffei Strayer Furnishings was $160,200, but when city officials reviewed the bid specifications, they noted that quote was for plastic, not cushioned seats, so another approximate $14,000 was added to the first number.

“When we were reviewing [the low bid], we noticed that the bids for the telescopic were coming in for all-plastic seats, and I didn’t suspect that council would want to do that,” Jenkins said. “It’s an indoor area. You usually put plastic on areas when you’re going to have a lot of kids and a lot of things going on.”

The change order for cushioned seats amounted to an additional $13,954 in addition to the initial $160,200.

Councilman David Thomas remarked that was a quite a difference in cost, and councilman CJ Rylands asked Jenkins if the bids were close to what city officials had estimated they would pay for theater-style seating.

“Is this in line with what we thought we were going to pay?” Rylands asked, and Jenkins said it was notably less.

Maffei Strayer Furnishings provided the city with samples of the two types of seating – permanent and retractable – that the Colonial Arts Center Board will have a chance to see at their meeting Tuesday, March 7.

Rylands motioned to approve the bid, which councilwoman Pam Bucklew seconded. At councilman David McCauley’s suggestion, Rylands amended his motion to approve the low bid contingent on the CAC Board’s evaluation of the samples, and the motion passed unanimously.

Jenkins told council the telescopic/retractable seating in the Main Hall will be motorized.

In other city news, council:

  • Voted to move their regular March 16 meeting to Tuesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. at city hall due to the Buckhannon-Upshur Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Awards Dinner, scheduled for March 16.
  • Adjourned into executive session to discuss management of the Event Center at Brushy Fork, citing property matters, but did not make any decisions.

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