Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

June 18, 2013

Workshops to be held to review restoration bids

By Bob Belcher
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — There are three contractor proposals to consider for the proposed restoration of the Navarro County Courthouse, but a decision on the next step in the project is still likely a few weeks away.

Commissioners opened the proposals for the restoration project shortly after the 2 p.m. deadline Tuesday, along with proposals for asbestos abatement in conjunction with the project.

The county is looking at the proposed restoration of the courthouse with the help of a $4.44 million state grant from the Texas Historic Commission.

Proposals were received from three companies — J.C. Stoddard Construction of San Antonio, with a bid of $9.2 million; Phoenix Restoration and Construction of Farmers Branch, with a bid of $8.68 million; and Stoddard Construction Management, with the high bid of $9.87 million.

All three firms also submitted proposals for additional work projects not eligible to be funded by the restoration grant, including ramp replacement, new sidewalks, new pine flooring, new benches in the district courtroom, painting of basement floors, the cost of builder’s risk insurance, and new opera-style seating for the district courtroom balcony. Costs of all those options could add another $200,000 to $400,000 or more to the overall proposal cost, depending upon which options, if any, are selected.

A preliminary estimate prepared by 1113 Architects, the firm working with the county on the restoration project, was $9.865 million. Costs of temporarily relocating courthouse functions during the restoration and the cost of an annex building to house offices that won’t be returning to the courthouse after the work will drive that number higher. Specific estimates on those costs have not been discussed publicly.

Commissioners also received proposals for asbestos abatement work as a part of the restoration project. Five vendors submitted proposals — Building Abatement Demolition of Liberty Hill, with a bid of $63,000; H.P. EnviroVision of Grand Prairie, with a bid of $179,000; Prism Response Inc. of Fort Worth, with a bid of $58,688; NCM Demolition of Brea, with a bid of $66,850; and ARC Abatement Inc. of Waco, with a bid of $98,490. Two of the vendors — Prism Response and NCM Demolition, did not submit bid bonds with their proposals.

County Judge H.M. Davenport Jr. had announced during the meeting that a committee comprised of himself, Pct. 2 Commissioner Dick Martin, County Auditor Kathy Hollomon, Planning and Development Director Phil Seely, and representatives of 1113 Architects would review the proposals and report recommendations back to the full commissioners court at its regular meeting on July 8. Precinct 4 Commissioner James Olsen asked when the committee was formed and asked if commissioners should have voted on forming a committee — action the commissioners court did not take.

Martin suggested that the full county commissioners court should meet as a whole in workshops to review the proposals over the next two weeks, a suggestion that Davenport agreed to.

The first such workshop could be held as part of the Monday, June 24 commissioners court meeting.

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Bob Belcher may be reached by email at bbelcher@corsicanadailysun.com. Want to “Soundoff” on this story? Email: soundoff@corsicanadailysun.com