The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

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By Forrest Hershberger
Publisher Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Engineering Firm Approved

Council Approves North Platte Firm to Lead Elks Lodge Project


November 4, 2020 | View PDF

The Sidney City Council recently approved an engineering firm for work at the Sidney Elks Lodge.

The City received $415,000 in Community Development Block Grant Tourism Development Funds for the Elks Lodge project. The intent is for the funds to be used to initiate a restoration effort for the building.

A Request For Qualifications was sent out in September for architectural design and engineering services. Four firms submitted qualifications: Joseph R. Hewgley and Associates (office in North Platte), Baker and Associates ( office in Scottsbluff), KPE Architecture Engineering Forensics (offices in Omaha, Des Moines, Iowa, Bismarck, N.D., and Englewood, CO.) and The Clark Enersen Partners (offices in Lincoln, Kansas City, Kan., Fairway, Kan., Fort Collins, CO., and Milwaukee, Ore.).

Based on the qualifications submitted by the four companies, the review committee selected Joseph R. Hewgley and Associates. In her presentation to the council, Economic Development Director Melissa Norgard said “their work and completion of projects with CDBG funds and historical buildings set JHR apart from the other firms.” Engineering fees are expected to cost about 15 percent of the grant funds, or $62,250.

“The goal is to sign the contract in the next two weeks,” Norgard said.

She said the plan is to put the project out for bid in January.

The grant focuses on restoration, rehabilitation and preservation of the Sidney Elks Lodge, returning the building to its historic relevance and updating the facility to current standards including ADA requirements.

Norgard said the unanimous opinion of the four firms is “you don't have enough funds for the whole project.”

“It is understood by all parties that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” she said. “This would probably get us to the half-way point.”

Norgard stressed no tax revenue or City funds are used in the project.

On March 24, the city council approved moving ahead with the CDBG Block Grant. Work on restoring the Elks Lodge has taken place since then with Lodge members and volunteers committing efforts to revive the buildings history attraction. As of May, the project already had 400 to 500 hours of in-kind work, according to Elks Lodge member John Phillips. Work so far has included cleaning rooms in the top floor, including previous jail cells and offices. In the process, the balcony seating and associated lighting is returning to its glory days.


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