Brownwood to seek competitive sealed proposals for event center

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
A depiction shows the layout of the Event Center that is planned in Brownwood.

The City of Brownwood will seek competitive sealed proposals for the construction of the multi-purpose Event Center.

Brownwood City Council members approved a resolution authorizing City Manager Emily Crawford to seek the proposals after council members earlier rejected bids for the project. The council rejected the bids because they came in higher than expected.

BRW Architects has completed the design and development of the center. The project will include the construction of the Ice House Stage/Pavilion with meeting rooms, Reunion Lawn, which will serve as a new festival ground and green space, the main Event Center space with banquet hall and breakout rooms and the Baker Street office building. 

The resolution authorizes the city to seek competitive sealed proposals instead of sealed bids. The key differences in seeking proposals versus bids is that the city can award the proposals that provides the best value to the city instead of the lowest responsible bidder, and the city may negotiate on the proposals.

Based on input from the previous bidders and BRW Architects, some cost saving measures have been implemented to help reduce some of the project costs. Based on recommendations by the previous bidders and BRW, the entire project is being put out for proposals bid this time, which should reduce some costs as well by eliminating phasing of the project.

In other business, council members approved a resolution supporting the Brown County Elections Administration's application for a countywide polling place program.

Elections Administrator Larry Franks said he was seeking the city's support in submitting a proposal for the use of vote centers to the Texas Secretary of State by Jan. 27.

Council members were told:

Vote centers are another name for countywide polling places. Instead of requiring voters to vote at their precinct polling locations, vote centers allow all registered voters in Brownwood the option of voting at any of the city’s polling locations on Election Day.

It allows Election Day polling places to operate in a similar way to the early voting location. A pilot program to permit countywide polling places was authorized by the Texas Legislature in 2005, and the first program was implemented in Lubbock County in 2006.