The former Kwik Trip building located at 420 N. Shawano St. was donated to the city of New London, which has signed lease agreements with the New London Area Chamber of Commerce and New London Youth Baseball.
The two groups recently began the necessary renovations to the property.
You may be surprised to see that a majority of the building is being demolished, and you may wonder why. While in the final stages of the donation of the building to the City of New London, the owners of Kwik Trip sought an appraisal on the property. During the appraisal process it was discovered that an elevation error was made in the mid 1980s when the building was constructed. The elevation of the building was not within local ordinance, Department of Natural Resources or federal flood elevation guidelines. To be used as Chamber offices or anything other than seasonal use, the building needed to be elevated approximately 2.5 feet from its current height.
After checking with the City of New London, the Department of Natural Resources, county and state governmental agencies and local politicians it was determined that the only option for occupancy was to come into compliance with the flood elevation requirements.
I extensively investigated the option of “lifting” the building and re-setting it at a higher elevation but discovered only a $9000 price difference between lifting the building and resetting it verses demolishing the top portion of the structure and building new. With the age of the building and a life expectancy of approximately five years on the roof, the Chamber’s Board of Directors decided to spend the additional funds and go with the demolition/new construction scenario.
In January local contractors and sub-contractors (members of the New London Area Chamber of Commerce) were given the job specifications and asked to submit bids for review. Bids for the project were reviewed and awarded at the Feb. 1, New London Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting as follows:
• Four Chamber Member contractors including Christian Builders, Daily Construction, David Brown Construction and Ron Peeters Construction submitted bids. The bid was awarded to Christian Builders. Christian will be working with the following local sub-contractors; Dorschner Excavating, Graichen Sanitation, Ryan Hobbs Masonry, K & H Concrete and all materials will be coming from New London Building Supply;
• Three Chamber Member electrical contractors including 1st Electrical Contracting, Flease Electric and Master Electrical Services submitted bids for review. Northland Electrical Services, who are Chamber members, were not able to bid the project due to a heavy workload. The bid was awarded to Master Electrical Services;
• Six Chamber Member financial institutions including Bank Mutual, Citizens Bank, Community First Credit Union, First State Bank, Fox Communities Credit Union and Wolf River Community bank submitted bids for review for the construction loan. The bid was awarded to First State Bank;
• The Chamber Board of Directors also reviewed bids from Chamber Members Custom Carpets by Gordy, Hoffmann Heating & Cooling and Winkler Plumbing. Each was awarded the bid in their category;
It’s exciting to consider what our local businesses can contribute to this project. We have so much talent in our community. It is our intent to have more than Chamber offices in the building, an educational/training and visitor center is also a part of the project.
Laurie Shaw is executve director of the New London Area Chamber of Commerce.