Grand Forks looks to spend $2 million-plus on Herald building, City Hall renovations

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A rainbow frames the Grand Forks Herald building. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

Grand Forks is looking for a construction manager as city staff gets ready to renovate the Grand Forks Herald building and pieces of City Hall.

City staff on Monday published a “request for qualifications” for a firm to coordinate subcontractors and suppliers, manage the project’s schedule and make recommendations about the feasibility of its construction -- all for $2 million to $2.5 million.

City leaders are tentatively scheduled to pick a company to be the project’s construction manager at risk on Dec. 6, but they also could decide to use a “design, bid, build” method, wherein city staff would hire consultants as-needed for more granular pieces of the project. City Administrator Todd Feland said going with a construction manager would, hopefully, save the city money.

In April, the city’s Jobs Development Authority agreed to purchase the Herald building in downtown Grand Forks from Forum Communications for $2.75 million, and, shortly thereafter, the city hired consultants to help brainstorm ways to fix it up. Some of those ideas include turning the building's community room into a newfangled library branch.

Forum hoped for a $3.47 million sale price when it put the building on the market in 2017. The building has sat in its current configuration at 375 Second Ave. N. since 1998. The Herald's then-owners paid to rebuild it after the Flood of 1997.


The paper now rents space on the second floor of the 36,00-square-foot building, where its editorial, advertising, business and administrative staff work.

City staff estimates the renovations will be finished by February 2021. The result "will create a new space in downtown Grand Forks focused on innovation and collaboration," according to the request for qualification.

Joe Bowen is an award-winning reporter at the Duluth News Tribune. He covers schools and education across the Northland.

You can reach him at:
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