OCEAN PINES – In spite of longstanding plans to renovate the Ocean Pines Country Club, officials this week voted to seek bids for construction of a new facility.
At a special meeting Tuesday, the Ocean Pines Association (OPA) Board of Directors voted unanimously to seek at least three bids for the construction of a new 7,000-square-foot building to replace the existing 14,000-square-foot facility.
“It is in the best interest of OPA to tear down the existing building and replace it with a smaller, one story, energy efficient building that will meet the needs of the golf program and provide community space for years to come,” board member Steve Tuttle said.
Initially, Tuttle made a motion to enter negotiations with Gillis Gilkerson to tear down the existing building and construct a new facility. He cited the fact that a 2016 report from Becker Morgan Group analyzed the existing building and mechanical systems and identified various problems.
Tuttle said the board had since explored renovating the building, a project that was expected to cost roughly $2 million. He said the more feasible option at this point was replacing the building with a smaller facility, as that could be done for an estimated $1.6 million.
Doug Parks, president of the board, said the move to go with Gillis Gilkerson could make it seem as if the board hadn’t done its due diligence in getting multiple bids. Board member Esther Diller agreed.
“I don’t want to go with a sole bid on this,” she said.
Board member Slobodan Trendic brought up the concept of a modest renovation, which he said the board had discussed earlier in the day and would be less costly than the extensive renovation the board previously explored. He said that gave the board a third option to consider.
Board member Ted Moroney agreed and suggested that the board go out for bids for a modest renovation as well as a new building.
“I’m wondering if we’re rehashing something we’ve already been through,” Parks said.
Tuttle said the board had already gotten three renovation bids but agreed to amend his motion to have the board seek at least three bids for a new building. Board member Frank Daly suggested the association reach out to all of the renovation bidders with the new proposal
“I don’t want to march in place like we have since 2013 and do nothing,” Daly said.
Diller expressed similar concern.
“We’ve beaten the crap out of this,” she said, adding that she wanted to keep the ball rolling.
The board voted 7-0 to seek bids for the design and construction of a new 7,000-square-foot building.