WC Construction wins bid for Phase II opera house renovation

By Trish Yerges, Correspondent March 17, 2010 02:53 pm

PARTNERS Bob Wiles, left, and Dennis Cross of WC Construction in Elgin were awarded the Phase II renovation project by the City of Elgin this week.  TRISH YERGES photo
PARTNERS Bob Wiles, left, and Dennis Cross of WC Construction in Elgin were awarded the Phase II renovation project by the City of Elgin this week. TRISH YERGES photo
ELGIN — Bids for Phase II of the Elgin Opera House renovation were opened at City Hall last Thursday, and the work was awarded to WC Construction of Elgin.

The City received bids from four area contractors. WC Construction came in with the lowest bid of $203,782; Wellens Farwell of Enterprise bid $237,000; Sid Johnson & Co. of Baker City bid $269,479 and GCT Land Management of La Grande had the highest bid of $404,586.

“We’re really excited to get a job in Elgin, especially on a building like the opera house,” said Dennis Cross of Elgin-based WC Construction. “We’re anxious to work with the city and improve the building and make it a nice place to visit.”

WC Construction’s Bill Peterson of Elgin is the project manager for Phase II. Peterson, who was raised in Elgin, has been working for WC Construction for nearly 20 years. Peterson, Doug Durfee, Jeff Larison and WC administrative assistants worked long hours to put their bid together for the city by March 11.

Their bid covers the costs of re-pointing the exterior brick, replacing 10 doors, renovating 35 windows, adding storm windows, insulating and adding a new roof over the fly loft and installing two down spouts on the upper section.

“We wanted this job, so we went after it,” said Peterson. “We spent hours on site to put this bid together.”

The work is being funded by a $250,000 grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Oregon Department of Energy.

“This is an energy grant to help with heating and cooling the opera house,” said Peterson, “so (the phase II renovations) will help a lot.”

One of the major sources of heat loss for the opera house was determined to be the fly loft over the stage. According to Peterson it wasn’t insulated, so heat was escaping freely through the roof there. Opera house manager Terry Hale said that during the winter months he’s been paying between $800 and $1,200 a month for gas and electricity from his weekly use of the building. After the renovations, however, those expenditures should be greatly reduced.

Most of the work for Phase II will be done by a local work force, said Peterson. A three-man WC Construction crew will install the new doors and windows. La Grande Paint and Glass will be their supplier for glass replacement where needed.

Sub-contractor Michael Hindal Masonry of Cove has been hired to power wash and re-point the brick as well as apply a water-proof sealant over the renovated brick. The masonry company has previous experience working on historic renovation projects, including the Union Hotel, the Enterprise Library and Wallowa High School, Peterson said.

Other Northeast Oregon subcontractors will assist in the Phase II renovation project. Four Seasons Insulation of Baker City will complete the roof insulation and Pacific Roofing from the Tri-Cities will put the new roof on the fly loft. The new wooden doors will be purchased from Noland Door Co. of Hermiston and A Sharp Painter of Pendleton will paint the new doors and moulding around the windows and storms as well as the facade of the columns in the front of the building.

The work will commence in May and be completed by Aug. 31, just in time to welcome Cycle Oregon to the opening production of “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers’’ on Sept. 10.