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Bellefontaine, OH

Commissioners lay out cost and timeline of courthouse project (Audio included)

The Logan County Commissioners met to discuss the ongoing county courthouse rebuild project on Thursday.

Commissioners John Bayliss, Tony Core, and Dustin Wickersham convened with an insurance representative and other consultants to verify and discuss the payment process. The insurance company and commissioners are interested in preparing and finalizing the way bills and money will flow as soon as the design is concluded and construction begins.

The officials also finalized the agreement between the county and the contracting firm which will be leading the courthouse design-build project.

Commissioner Wickersham said the meeting allowed a better understanding of how money will be spent and spread out over the construction period.

“The most important thing in contracting work, the contractor has to be paid if we want to keep the work moving.” Wickersham said. “So we’re planning ahead for a lot of that and we hope to get started really soon.”

“The public will see actual activity on the building here in August, September, but not until then,” Wickersham noted.

Listen to Commissioner Dustin Wickersham talk about the meeting regarding the courthouse rebuild

State building permits were also a topic of discussion. The commissioners and consultants expect an intricate and lengthy permit process due to the nature of the build. To speed the process, the contractors have recently been approved to proceed with a “phased” process. After the approval of the project’s first phase, work will begin while the second phase is under review by the state.

The phased-in approach allows the project to move without waiting for all permits to be approved by the state simultaneously.

Officials also discussed the “do-not-exceed price” of the project. An amount will be agreed upon between the contractor, insurers, and commissioners with the end price having to be honored by the contractor.

A timeline and overall price of the project are still unknown. Forecasts regarding time and expenses are expected later this year.

The commissioners chose Midstate Contractors earlier in the year as the company to lead the venture after they submitted their proposed design cost.

The building’s damage occurred during the storm on June 29th, 2012 in which severe winds caused significant structural damage, requiring the selective deconstruction of the tower.

Commissioner Bayliss was one of the first to investigate the building after the storm. He said the damage was concerning and had to be dealt with right away.

“As we made our way to the base of the tower, we noticed a considerable amount of damage that was apparently caused by the extreme wind lifting and twisting of the building,” Bayliss said. “The engineer at that time indicated that our concerns were certainly well-founded and suggested that we close the building.”

Listen to Commissioner John Bayliss recall the wind storm and talk about the damage

All courthouse operations have been moved to various buildings across the county including the Carnegie Building, which had to be renovated to suit its new role.

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