City of Chelsea awards $3.68M bid for community center construction

By CASSANDRA MICKENS / Associate Editor

CHELSEA — The Chelsea City Council awarded the bid for construction of the city’s new community and senior center to Birmingham-based Argo Building Co., at its regular meeting March 18.

The city received four bids for construction, Mayor Earl Niven said.  Argo Building submitted the lowest bid at $3,684,121. Council members Juanita Champion, David Ingram, Alison Nichols, Tony Picklesimer and Dale Neuendorf voted to award the bid the Argo Building. Niven abstained from voting, citing a conflict of interest because his nephew works for the construction company.

“They do a lot of work for UAB and they have built schools all over the state,” Niven said of Argo Building during the council’s work session March 18. “Everybody gives them a good recommendation.”

The 29,000-square-foot community center will be built across from Liberty Baptist Church. Niven said land clearing at the construction site should start before May 1, and a formal groundbreaking ceremony will be scheduled after the land clearing is complete. Niven expects construction to last for about a year, or 360 days, despite Argo Building’s “aggressive” 150-day construction schedule.

Following the council’s vote, members stressed that the community center will be for all ages, not just senior residents.

“This is a very exciting day for Chelsea,” Neuendorf said following the council’s vote.

Said Nichols: “We’re mighty blessed to be here in Chelsea. The community center will be another outreach for kids and parents, and bound us closer together.”