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ASHLAND — City officials are reviewing five bids to tear down the former Ashland Oil headquarters building at 1401 Winchester Ave., in preparation of a planned convention center and parking garage.

Meanwhile, the city of Ashland has been awarded $1 million to engineer and design the parking garage and convention center in downtown Ashland, according to Gov. Andy Beshear and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers.

That money is coming from some $9.18 million in abandoned mine land economic revitalization program funds for economic development projects in 10 eastern Kentucky counties, according to a news release.

W. Principles, doing business as The Walker Company from Mount Sterling, Kentucky, submitted a bid of $2.42 million and was the apparent low bidder to demolish the former Ashland Oil building, according to City Engineer Steve Cole.

O’Rourke Wrecking Co. from Cincinnati submitted a bid of $2.43 million. The other three bidders were for $2.8 million by Safeco Environmental Inc., $2,928,000 from Green Demolition Contractors from Chicago and $3.15 million from Renascent Inc. from Indianapolis, Indiana.

The bids were opened earlier this month and currently are being reviewed.

The city is looking into preliminary design and marketing analysis and square footage for the convention center and parking garage that is to be adjacent to the Delta Hotel (Marriott), also in the 1400 block of Winchester Avenue.

Mayor Matt Perkins said the Ashland Board of City Commissioners could take up the demolition bids during a Dec. 9 meeting.

The city also has received a $700,000 grant from The Woodlands to go toward the convention center construction, Perkins said.

“We need a convention center and parking lot,” Perkins said. “We could attract all kinds of state conferences and meetings. We want it to be the right size for our city. We’re working on the engineering.”

The old Ashland Oil building has been vacant for some time.

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