“Back to the drawing board” for East Hall- Cost estimates higher than expected

The Winnemucca Convention and Visitors Authority (WCVA) is still in the process of determining the best route to move forward with the future of the East Hall of the convention center, with preliminary options reported as being over the project budget. 

WCVA Director Kim Petersen said the board has been in contact with P3 Partners to determine a facility that would be appropriate to replace the East Hall of the Winnemucca Convention Center. 

Petersen said preliminary designs and estimates reported to the board have come in at a much higher than anticipated and that the project is going back to the drawing board with determining the best option for the lowest price. 

Petersen said he’s not ready to publicly release the preliminary estimates of constructing a new building for the East Hall, but said that the WCVA has budgeted between $6-8 million for the project, with hopes closer to $6 million. 

“When we get down to the final design we’ll open it up to the community but at this point we’re not even there yet,” said Petersen. “At this point we’re just trying to figure out what it’s going to cost to get four walls up or to remodel.” 

The feasibility study has not yet been completed and Petersen said that is something that wouldn’t be done until the board can confidently determine that the project is affordable in preliminary design estimates. 

The feasibility study was originally presented at $25,000 by P3 Partners and later the company said that generally the study is done at a cost of $50,000 but P3 officials and the WCVA board agreed on a cost of $31,000 to cover travel and additional costs of travel for consultants during the feasibility study. 

The WCVA has been working with P3 Partners to explore a public-private construction partnership that would function as a lease-leaseback business structure in which the land would be leased to the private entity who would construct the building within product specifications and then the land would be leased back to the WCVA until the total project cost is paid. The Elko Convention and Visitor’s Center was constructed in this manner with P3 Partners as the main partner, along with several consultants and subcontractors. 

“At this point we’re just waiting; that’s why we haven’t put out a lot of information yet,” said Petersen.