Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Courthouse roof project looks costly

Bid totals are over budget


By GREG MOORE
Express Staff Writer

Blaine County leaders are assessing bids to replace the roof of the Old County Courthouse in Hailey, above. Express file photo

    Following bid openings Tuesday, the Blaine County commissioners will need to decide next week whether to pay over $300,000 more than they expected to replace the roof of the Old County Courthouse in Hailey.
    The county has budgeted $800,000 for the project, but the sole general construction bid came in at $927,276. The lower of two bids for electrical work was $145,300 and the lower of two bids for heating and plumbing was $40,352. Combined, the bids total more than $1.1 million.
    County Operations Director Char Nelson said county staff will review the scope of work contained in the bids to see whether it exceeds what is needed, and therefore whether the bids could be reduced.
    Nelson said she was surprised that only one construction bid was submitted.
    “There’s a lot of construction going on in the state and the construction force has dwindled from what it was a few years ago,” she said.
    Nelson said she had been told by some contractors that they don’t have enough framers to bid for the project, and others do not have the required public works license from the state.
    The intent of the project is to renew the deteriorating roof and increase its ability to hold snow.
    Nelson said the roof has not been replaced since the 1960s.
    “The material has a lot of patches on it,” she said. “It’s not in good shape.”
    Moreover, modifications to the building have interfered with the roof’s ability to shed snow, and the roof was not designed to hold a heavy snow load. Nelson said the new roof will contain cleats to hold snow above the alley behind the building.
    “That will ensure the safety of those entering and exiting the building,” she said.
    Nelson said the roof also is not properly connected to the building to resist an earthquake.
    Nelson said that if the bids are approved during the county commissioners’ meeting Tuesday, work is scheduled to start shortly after and be done by the end of September.
    The county commissioners’ and county administrator’s offices have been moved to the County Annex building across First Street. The Clerk’s and Indigent Services’ offices are in the Judicial Building behind the old courthouse. The Recorder’s Office is in the large trailer in the Judicial Building parking lot. The Operations Office is in the small trailer in the parking lot.
    A fence will be erected around the building during construction.
    County records have been left in their vaults. Public access to them is available by appointment on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. Call 788-5505 for an appointment.
Greg Moore: gmoore@mtexpress.com




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