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home : news : news Saturday, June 25, 2016

11/17/2012 Email this articlePrint this article 
Supervisors ready for phase two of DeWitt annex renovations

By Jeremy Huss
Staff writer

The Clinton County Board of Supervisors is preparing plans for the second phase of renovations to the former Candlelight building in DeWitt that would allow the county treasurer to establish a satellite location at the county's new government annex at 226 11th St., DeWitt.

The supervisors this week directed architect Mike Ruden of IIW Engineers and Surveyors to prepare an estimate of probable cost for the second phase of renovations that will include roof repairs, replacement of mechanical facilities, parking lot improvements, exterior site work and interior work to prepare space for the treasurer's office, information technology department and a public meeting room.

The board also authorized spending $4,500 in contingency funds from the first phase of renovations for heating and cooling design specifications in order to replace a faulty rooftop heat exchanger.

The supervisors are scheduled to take formal action on both items at the board's Nov. 19 meeting.

At a Nov. 14 work session, building maintenance manager Corey Johnson said phase I renovations are running on schedule for a Dec. 21 completion date.

All interior walls have been constructed, electrical conduit is in place and doors have been framed but not hung, Johnson said.

Sheet rock has been completed for about half of the building and should be fully complete within 10 days, Johnson said. Flooring will be installed after the Thanksgiving holiday.

It has rained twice since a partial roof replacement was completed, and no leaks have been observed, Johnson noted.

The building is being readied in phase I for its first occupant, the Clinton County sheriff's office, which will move its satellite office from the current location on the south end of DeWitt to the new annex building.

The supervisors in June approved the sale of the current satellite sheriff's office, located at 305 First St., to Sam and JoAnn Lee for $101,500. The sheriff's office has until Dec. 31 to vacate the building.

Although the overall renovation project is on schedule, a problem with a rooftop heat exchanger threatens to push back completion if the supervisors don't act quickly, Johnson said.

Johnson said plans had called for replacing the building's mechanical units in the second phase of renovations, but the heat exchanger needs to be repaired or replaced immediately because of two holes that result in the unit pumping in carbon dioxide.

Johnson said it will cost $1,846 to repair the unit and $4,591 to replace it; however, he said a repair is risky because the unit is at the end of its expected life, and the board could end up wasting money.

Replacement also has a risk, Johnson said, because the unit is probably too small for the building and is likely to be removed as the county proceeds with additional renovations.

Johnson recommended and the board ultimately agreed to complete a design study for the building's mechanical system that otherwise would have been part of phase II of the project and to replace the heat exchanger once the study has determined energy needs.

Johnson estimated it will cost $15,000 for design work from engineering firm Arnold and O'Sheridan and a new heat exchanger .

The county has $6,000 left in contingency funds, and the design study will leave just $1,500, Johnson said, meaning the board will have to delay other parts of the renovation plan in order to replace the heat exchanger and stay under budget for the first phase of the project.

The board agreed to complete site work to make a temporary handicapped-accessible approach to the main door this winter and to install a permanent ramp in the spring. The board also agreed to hold off on plans to replace double doors on the side of the building with a window in order to allow easier access for moving construction materials during the renovation process.

After deciding to move forward on the heat exchanger issue, the board discussed in depth options for the next phase of renovations.

Ruden said rotting walls in the northwest section of the building are an important issue to address in phase II, as well as the mechanical systems and a full roof replacement.

The board discussed the possibility of an interior design plan that would allow a separate entrance and unisex bathroom for the treasurer's office.

Treasurer Rhonda McIntyre was supportive of the concept but was concerned about having sufficient storage space and the need for employees to have a second exit out of the treasurer's office due to safety concerns.

Discussion was held on the possibility of punching out walls and installing windows to provide natural light to offices and how to deal with the resulting impact on the appearance of the building's exterior.

Auditor Eric Van Lancker suggested installing an atrium as an alternative to provide natural light without altering the outside appearance of the building.

Ruden said he wants to meet with staff from other county offices who will occupy the building before making final decisions on the interior space design.

The parking lot is in bad shape and also must be addressed in phase II, Johnson said.

Currently, the parking lot consists of a 12-inch layer of asphalt over what is essentially bare dirt, he said.

To fix it properly, the county will need to core out the existing pavement and hire a contractor to pack dirt and gravel before pouring a new layer of asphalt. He estimated it will take 50-65 dump truck loads to remove the existing pavement.

At the conclusion of the discussion, the board agreed phase II renovations will include replacing the roof, mechanical system and parking lot, exterior site work and work to prepare interior spaces for the information technology department, treasurer's office and a public meeting room.

Ruden will prepare an estimate of probable cost for the work by Jan. 1, and the county will go to bid on the project in March and award a contract in April.

Work would begin in mid-June, allowing the county to delay payments for phase II renovations until the new fiscal year begins July 1. The work should be complete by December 2013.

Phase III renovations will establish offices for county departments located at the current annex building across from the high school and are planned for 2014. A timeline has not been set for phase IV, which includes construction of a six-car garage for the sheriff's office.

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