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Moving forward on Mars
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The city of Springfield is exploring ways to have work done on the Mars Theater.

City Manager Brett Bennett proposed having a request for qualifications process for bidders on the old theater, which sits next to city hall’s parking lot.

“We’ve been getting plans finalized,” Bennett said. “There are several ways to bid building projects.”

Sanders, Trowell and Associates was awarded a contract for architectural services earlier this year, and Kern-Coleman was awarded a contract for engineering services.

The RFQ, Bennett said, is the recommendation for the best route to follow in getting Mars work accomplished.

“You can select three, four, five or six bidders who you want to bid the project,” Bennett said.

Bennett said a local consideration clause in the bidding policy has been a hot topic.

“Currently, we have nothing in our purchasing policy that allows that,” he said.

“There are a lot of local people qualified who have given us hours of work,” said Gussie Nease of the Springfield Revitalization Corporation, which is spearheading the Mars renovation.

The Springfield Revitalization Corporation has been showing outdoor movies at the Mars, screening “Independence Day” on July 4. The SRC will show “Pirates of the Caribbean” on Aug. 10, with a costume contest as part of the show.

“We show the movies to show that we are out there in the community,” Nease said.

Council member Kenny Usher also sounded anxious to start — and finish — work on the Mars Theatre.

“Let’s get that baby done,” he said.

Springfield also will hold National Night Out on Aug. 7 at Ulmer Park.