Museum renovations receive formal approval; to begin in July
The city board unanimously approved a construction bid that will fund renovations on the Siloam Springs Museum during its meeting Tuesday night.
The bid was provided by the Marshall Group and calls for a total of $370,716, with $292,960.40 in construction costs and an additional $77,755.60 for storage expenses, moving expenses, design costs, site preparation and any unexpected expenses that may arise, according to a staff report.
This move is the result of a gradual process that began in January 2017 following an announcement from the Museum Board of Directors to the Siloam Springs City Board of Directors that they wished to remain in their current location at 112 N. Maxwell St., with the intentions of remodeling the facility. It was not until August 2017 that the Museum Board presented plans and an estimate for the project, and in December it was decided that the funding would be included in the 2018 budget.
Although the funding was allotted as part of this year’s budget, it still required formal approval, which was not granted until Tuesday night. The city opened bids to construction management agencies on June 1. The reason the Marshall Group was chosen to head the project is their estimated construction costs fell just below the original estimate of $295,000.
While preliminary paperwork has already begun, the
physical construction onsite will not begin until mid to late July and is anticipated to take about eight months, said Steve Marshall, owner and consultant for the Marshall Group. A primary focus of the renovations will be to maximize the amount of usable space in order to add classrooms and rotating exhibits, and will also include opening up the ceilings of the main floor and the addition of a second floor that will be used for office space, according to a January 2018 report from the HeraldLeader.
The benefit to adding a second floor is that it will allow for a back room in the museum to be used for a classroom, according to the report. Having multiple classrooms is a focus for museum officials because they want to have spaces where students who are touring the museum can have discussion and reflection about the exhibits they saw with their classmates and instructors. Other projects will include stripping the carpeting currently in place and instead utilize the hardwood floor underneath, as well as a newlydesigned outdoor garden.
Other items on the board’s agenda for the night included:
• The approval of a request by the city’s Street Department to purchase a new 2019 Ford F450 flatbed dump truck in the amount of $59,999.
• The approval of an ordinance to rezone a property located at 620 Hwy. 16 E. from the zoning classification of C-2 (roadway commercial) to R-4 (Residential, multi-family dwelling units).
• The approval of an ordinance for the city to continue its property insurance coverage with Moss Insurance Agency. Additionally, due to the prevalence of wildfires across the country and occurrence of three hurricanes that have struck the U.S. recently — Harvey, Irma and Maria — costs for the insurance industry and its consumers in Siloam Springs are expected to rise by 14.48 percent this year, according to a staff report. For that reason, the board also declared an emergency.
• The approval of a resolution to set a hearing date for July 17 that will address a petition filed by the Siloam Springs School District to close certain rights of way near the location of the Southside Elementary School.
A sign currently posted on the main entrance to the museum notifies residents of its closure due to the remodeling project, how they can stay updated on its progress and about some events that the museum is putting on over the summer.