Posted 7/28/15 (Tue)
By Kevin Killough
Tioga’s downtown renovations will include a new city hall.
The commission took the first steps at a meeting last week, by hiring a Construction Manager at Risk and an architect to renovate the building next to the current city hall.
They also began going through the legal process to remove the current tenant of the building, Kick N Fit.
The gym’s lease was up earlier this year and it was granted an extension until June 30, but the business continued to occupy the building.
The commission considered a separate proposal earlier this year from Roers Investments to house city operations in commercial space behind Cash Wise groceries until a new facility was built.
Last month, the commissioners voted in favor of a plan to renovate the existing downtown building instead. With that decision in place, the city issued an eviction notice to Kick N Fit.
According to Tioga Police Administrator Jeff Spivey, who has been the driving force behind the plan to renovate the building, the eviction was only a legal formality.
“No one wanted to be mean. Everyone just wanted to follow the legal process,” he said.
Josh Craig, who is a son of the gym’s owner, said last week the business is moving to the old Hardware Hank location on Main Street. The new location was expected to be open by Monday.
Craig said they knew they were pressed for time but were having trouble completing renovations at the new location.
“We were behind a little because of plumbers and electricians,” he said.
Spivey said the city worked with Kick N Fit as much as possible, but with a $3 million project on hold, they couldn’t wait any longer.
“I know they were trying hard. It’s hard in this town dealing with contractors,” he said.
Spivey said the short building season was also an important factor in pressing the eviction. In order for renovations for the new city hall to proceed through the winter, the shell of the building must be ready as soon as possible.
Craig said the gym’s new location will continue to offer the same services as before, with no reductions in equipment or offerings.
On Monday last week, the city also voted to accept a bid from Graham Construction, the only company to submit a bid for the CMAR position. They also hired EAPC out of Williston as architects for the project.
Spivey said the firm will now begin to review the initial plans for the building and consult with the city on how to best meet their needs with the design for the new space.
“Hopefully everything will go smooth now,” Spivey said.