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Convention Center remodel ahead of schedule

Fri., March 2, 2007

The more-than-$10 million remodel on the original Spokane Convention Center is running about five weeks ahead of schedule, said Dave Garske, operations manager for Hoffman Construction Co., the Portland-based firm overseeing the work.

Garske said at the current pace, major work should wrap up by April 13. Then, the staff of the Spokane Public Facilities District, which operates the center, will be able to move into their offices.

While there were a few lucky breaks, like mild weather and electric shut-offs that were briefer than planned, the credit for early completion goes to the laborers, Garske said.

“Don Bottom, our superintendent, and all our sub-contractors worked hand-in-glove; they were really tight and well-coordinated, which made it easier for everybody,” Garske said.

Crews have spent about 100,000 hours creating three new ballrooms with a total of about 25,000 square feet of space, and 24 meeting rooms. Upgrades include new heating and cooling systems, electrical services and sweeping cosmetic improvements.

By taking possession early, employees will have more time to familiarize themselves with all the new systems before bigger bookings, said Kevin Twohig, executive director of the PFD.

The PFD may use about $60,000 in remaining funds to buy items such as chairs or to remodel elevator interiors, Twohig said.


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