Update: Delayed Newnan Centre may open in December
By JOHN A. WINTERS
The opening of the Newnan Centre, beset by construction delays that included firing the general contractor, is now expected to open sometime in December, according to officials.
If things go according to plan, construction on the city multi-use conference complex off Lower Fayetteville Road could resume by mid or late June. The center was supposed to open in mid-July, a date that was pushed back to Aug. 8.
Problems with the Newnan Centre construction began emerging at the beginning of the year as the original contractor, D. Dean and Associates, fell behind on paying subcontractors. In turn, those subcontractors stopped working. As financial problems continued, Dean was fired for basically quitting the job by the Newnan Convention Center Authority, which oversees the facility.
As it stands now, an engineering consulting firm is reviewing the bids submitted by Headley and Batson-Cook, according to Parks Avery, chairman of the convention center authority. The consulting firm is expected to make a recommendation to Ohio Casualty on which bid to accept. That recommendation is expected to be made today.
Ohio Casualty is the bonding company responsible for ensuring the conference center is completed on time and on budget. After Dean and Associates was fired, Ohio Casualty took over as the responsible party since Dean’s performance bond was through them.
The bonding company is expected to select the new contractor next week, Avery said.
“Once that happens, we hope to get the new contractor under contract with us... get them bonded and set a start date,” he said. “We are hoping to get a start date in mid to late June.”
Both contractors included some exclusions in their bids — basically they would not accept liability on certain issues based on the prior work done by Dean and Associates.
“If something unforeseen came up and they had to fix something Dean did, the insurance company would have to pay for that,” Avery explained.
Avery said once construction starts, it’s expected to take about 200 days to see the center completed.
“Once we know who the contractor is, we’ll look and see if we can shorten that date,” he said. “We may have some wiggle room. We just don’t know right now.”
Also still to be worked out are the final settlement agreements between the convention authority and the bonding company.
“The insurance company will make up the difference between what we were to pay and what it will actually cost now and pay us the difference,” Avery said. “That agreement will also include extra expenses like attorney fees and architectural design changes and some damages.”
Overall, the building, pavilion, covered walkways, green space and parking were contracted at a fixed cost of $4,255,000, Avery said. Owner-paid items included design, surveys and construction testing at $557,900; and equipment purchases — kitchen, tables, chairs — at $335,000.
The current total estimated cost is $5,147,900, with an additional $300,000 contingency, he added.
The Newnan Centre will be located next to the Coweta School System’s Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Lower Fayetteville Road.