Niagara Gazette

Lewiston

June 10, 2013

Lewiston holding off on management company for proposed rec center

Lewiston officials will play the waiting game in regards to management at its proposed Lewiston Civic Center.

Supervisor Steve Reiter said the town board has chosen to hold off hiring The Sports Facilities Advisory, a Clearwater, Fla. firm, as manager of the center until after a public referendum is held July 15.

"There were two schools of thought about this," he said. "One was to hire them as soon as possible, while the other was to wait and see what happens. We decided to wait. There's no sense investigating this until we find out if the public wants it."

The firm's founder and chief executive officer, Dev Pathik, visited Lewiston last week to present his firm's case, saying his group would thoroughly investigate the financial and logistical possibilities of the town building its massive structure, which would occupy about 10 acres of land the town is expected to purchase from the Lewiston-Porter School District for $50,000.

Pathik had said last week the town would need to decide quickly and said his firm was prepared to begin immediately after being hired. His firm, he said, would analyze every aspect of the building and determine if the town could handle the construction, something he said may well be answered with the word "no."

One area of concern for the project has been its reported price tag. Reiter has consistently maintained construction would have an $8 million price tag and has been awarded Niagara River Greenway money to do so, following a meeting of the Host Communities Standing Committee Thursday. The town will receive $9.2 million for the project, which factors in interest, according to Reiter.

But the price being quoted may be extremely low, according to some, claiming general construction costs would put the building's cost closer to $12 to $15 million.

But Reiter said the town's estimates are based in what he's been told by more than one construction management firm.

"We've had estimates from a couple different construction management firms," he said. "That was a number they believed they could do this in."

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