• Waltz Construction expected to begin work this week, finish by mid April; test shows some lead-based paint
BROOKINGS – Remodeling of the Brookings County Courthouse will begin any day, thanks to a contract between the Brookings County Commission and Waltz Construction of Brookings that the commission signed Tuesday.
Work will be done in two stages: The first floor, then the second. Waltz will begin working in spaces left vacant when county offices moved into the new Brookings City & County Government Center, said Brookings County Commission Assistant Stephanie Ellwein. When the remodel project reaches Phase II, court employees whose offices are on the second floor will be temporarily moved to the first floor.
Phase I has a substantial completion date of Nov. 2, Phase II of April 12, 2013.
On July 19, commissioners accepted Waltz’s base and alternate bids totaling $987,000 to complete the remodeling project and replace courthouse windows. The bid was well below initial cost estimates of $2.2 million.
Tuesday, commissioners transferred $125,000 from the county’s general fund to the courthouse building remodel fund to cover expenditures until money from bond sales comes in.
Waltz noted in its bid last month that it had made an exception to the request for proposal: If lead-based paint is found in the courthouse, the company would not take responsibility for dealing with it. Waltz’s bid was $141,000 below the next lowest bid, and project architect Architecture Incorporated of Sioux Falls told commissioners it would still be the lowest bid, even with paying separately for the paint removal.
Ellwein told the Commission Tuesday that a test was run late last week and there is indeed some lead-based paint, in the basement storage area previously used by the Register of Deeds’ office. The testing company has not yet submitted its report, Ellwein said Wednesday, so she does not know whether the paint has been found anywhere else.
Ellwein did say Tuesday she has been told the paint in the basement area will be easy to dispose of. Because Waltz’s bid excluded abatement work for this paint, the commission will now need to issue a separate RFP for this disposal process.
Contact Charis Prunty at email@example.com.