Contractor hopes to complete Culver store by the end of May, and possibly work on Madras store.

DESIREE BERGSTROM/MADRAS PIONEER - The walls are up, and the roof is on at the Culver Dollar General, which may open as early as the end of May.Despite the snow and cold weather of the past few months, the Culver Dollar General is making major strides toward its planned opening at the end of May.

"It's projected to finish, and it should be open on May 27," said Dean Muldoon, the project superintendent, from the general contractor, Corstone Contractors, of Snohomish, Washington. Muldoon is pushing to have the facility ready for fixtures by May 13, and ready to stock by May 20.

"We've spent a lot money moving snow and mud," said Muldoon, who estimated that there were at least 15 people working on the site on Tuesday.

The project got underway in mid-January, but because of the weather in February and March, he said, "We got behind, so we're trying to run everybody through as quickly as possible."

The crews have been hard at work, seven days a week, according to Kim Symons, Culver's public works supervisor.

"They have been working relentless, even through snow and everything else," she said, noting that the foundation, exterior walls, and most of the roof, with the insulation, is done. "They've been working even through the weekends."

The 9,100-square-foot building is set back from the highway (Southwest First Avenue), facing west, with parking planned on both the north and west sides of the store, with access from First Avenue.

Tim Bloom Construction, of Bend, is doing the excavation for the project.

"We're getting all the underground utilities in, and then we'll be working on the parking lot, getting the parking lot ready," said Tim Bloom. "Friday, we're going to start sidewalks."

"I can't say enough nice things about these guys," said Bloom, adding that when the project is finished, there will be street lights and a partial sidewalk in front of the site.

When the Culver Dollar General is complete, both crews hope to be able to work on the Madras Dollar General, which will be located south of the former Parr Lumber Co. which owns the property.

The Dollar General Corp. has about 14,000 stores, including 19 in Western Oregon, the closest of which are located in Estacada, Mill City and Sweet Home.

The retail chain, which sells groceries, beauty products, household goods and other items, is considered a rural chain. In Oregon, most stores are located in small communities. Some of those communities — such as Port Orford, Merrill and Drain — are even smaller than Culver.

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