HARKER HEIGHTS — City staff are seeking a consensus from the City Council on whether to proceed with allocating funds left over from a 2008 bond series to add administrative office space to the Harker Heights Recreation Center.
During a council workshop meeting Tuesday afternoon, Alberta Barrett, finance director, told councilmen there is about $600,000 left from the $9.5 million bond issued in 2008 and the city needs to spend the money before it encounters fines and penalties for not spending the remaining funds in a timely fashion.
“Originally, when I spoke to the council at the end of 2013, I thought we were going to have a shortfall and we could have used those funds then, but we had several projects come in under our budget so we didn’t need to go that route,” she said.
The funds can only be used for renovation and construction work on a pre-existing city building because that’s what the language in the bond stated.
“The recreation center has outgrown its current office administration space,” Barrett said.
The plan is to expand the front of the building facing City Hall by adding an additional 1,900 square feet. Barrett estimated the project would cost $332,500, which is based on $175 per square foot guideline.
Currently, three employees have their office set up in the same 128-square-foot room; the expansion would give them some much needed breathing room and elbow space.
“The expansion is well needed,” Councilman Pat Christ said. “It’s very crowded.”
If the council votes to move forward with the project, city staff would send out requests for proposals for architect and engineering services and put the project out to bid.