RIVERBANK — The city could start construction on a long-awaited teen center within a couple of months.
The City Council is expected to vote tonight on whether to accept the low bid for the construction of the 2,600-square-foot center on Santa Fe Street, next to the Community Center and across the street from Cardozo Middle School. It's also several blocks from Riverbank High School.
Public Works Director Dave Melilli said Modesto-based Menghetti Construction Inc. submitted the low bid of $758,000 among the eight bidders.
He said construction could start in late February or early March if the council awards the contract and depending upon the rainy season and other factors. He said the center could open by this time next year.
The center will have a gym, a lounge with a large-screen TV, an area for snacks, and a quiet area with books, said Sue Fitzpatrick, the city's director of parks and recreation.
She said the city researched other teen centers and decided a 2,600-square-foot center would be the right size for Riverbank and fit the city's budget.
She also said the community center, which holds 300 people, is the right venue for larger teen events.
The city delayed building the center about a year ago because of the economy.
"We had to wait until we felt confident that we could operate it," Fitzpatrick said.
The money to build the center would come from a state grant, money raised by the teens, the city's special project fund, redevelopment money and park development funds.
At tonight's meeting, the City Council also is expected to vote on whether to spend $65,000 to buy a vacant building next to the city museum. The building would be used to expand the museum.
The council also is expected to meet in closed session to evaluate City Manager Rich Holmer. Holmer also plans to share with the council his evaluations of the directors of public works, finance and economic development and housing.
The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers, 6707 Third St.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2316.