By Rebekah Pewitt
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- BBL Carlton, ZMM with TVS Design has been selected to renovate the Charleston Civic Center.
With some of its mechanics dating back to 1958, there's no avoiding the need for updates at the Civic Center.
"So much of the mechanical plant has outlived its life, and we've been living on borrowed time," said John Robertson, with the Civic Center.
During the announcement, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones made sure to stress just how badly the renovations were needed. He said the mechanical and electrical renovations alone would cost the city $25 million, which would not include any structural or aesthetic updates.
Therefore, this past winter, several design teams began the competition for the contract. The pool was narrowed down to three, and BBL Carlton, ZMM with TVS Design was selected Monday night.
The firm was selected based on price, design, energy usage, and phasing and scheduling.
Scheduling is key because the civic center will have to stay open during construction.
Energy efficiency was a large part of the selection process. City Manager, David Molgaard, said during the announcement that once construction is completed, the building will be more than 30 percent more energy efficient than it currently is.
The construction will be done in four phases. Currently, the plans are just a rough draft. During the next month, Charleston Civic Center leaders and Charleston city officials will go through and make changes.
The first part of the construction will begin in the front of the building, which includes the front lobby. Folks could be seeing much of the changes within the next year.
The entire project is expected to be completed by January 2018.
The renovations are being financed, in part, by revenue from a tax increment finance district downtown and a half-cent city sales tax.
The cost of the renovations total more than $75 million, which could be higher once the project is finalized.
City officials call the renovation a "game changer" for the city, saying the civic center is not only a landmark for Charleston, but for much of West Virginia.