When: Council meeting, Dec. 3.
What happened: Some tough decisions will need to be made about the Columbia Market House renovation project after bids on the job came in around 12% higher than the architect’s estimates. Ted Vedock of Hammel Associates Architects said the low total for the entire project, including two alternative options that would restore the exterior closer to its original appearance, came in at $2,569,816. Eliminating both options would shave off $369,550.
Why it matters: Columbia has a tentative budget of $3.5 million for the project, including parking enhancements in the downtown area. Half of that money is in the form of a state grant, while the other half is the borough’s match. The borough is under some pressure to make final decisions about the project because of a February deadline related to the state grant.
Background: The renovated market will be anchored by the Gypsy Kitchen, a Lancaster restaurant that recently announced it was relocating to the Columbia Market. The restaurant’s seating will occupy the middle of the building, with vendor stalls surrounding the outside. Vedock proposed adding optional features identified in historical photos of the building such as an awning-like roof along one side of the building that could be utilized by seasonal outdoor vendors. Another option would restore metal towers and a cornice on the front of the building.
What’s next: Council is expected to decide which alternatives to include in the project and to award contracts at its Dec. 10 meeting. Construction is set to begin in January, with a summer opening planned.