The Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center board is currently in contract negotiations with a Denver company to serve as its project manager.
If the board can come to terms with the Frew Development Group, it could be on board within the next few weeks, said Nate Rivera, a project volunteer for EOTEC.
“Our goal is to have a project manager in place by Oct. 1,” Rivera said. The Frew Development Group was one of four companies that competed for the contract.
“Frew’s proposal best met the needs of EOTEC,” said Rivera. “They not only bring in the project management and construction side, but also the operations side. They can advise us on long-term operations decisions.”
Rivera said the board will meet next week to finalize a contract with the Frew Development Group. The construction schedule will call for the center to be built and ready for the 2016 Umatilla County Fair and Farm-City Pro Rodeo. The expectation is that the center will initially be home to the fair and rodeo, but future expansion will occur later as more revenue becomes available.
“We have to make a construction budget based on money we have now,” Rivera said. “Frew will be tasked with identifying additional pieces of the puzzle once more money comes in.”
The property where the EOTEC will be built is on 75 acres of land, about 67 percent larger than the current fairgrounds property. Earlier this year, the city began the process of purchasing an additional 20 acres to serve as access to the EOTEC.