JEFFERSON — The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors Tuesday night approved several building repairs, along with costs associated with a major renovation project.

The board moved ahead with its plans to renovate the courthouse by authorizing the county administrator to enter into a contract with Potter Lawson Inc., architects of Madison, for schematic design, design development, construction documentation and contract/construction administration.

The professional services are not to exceed $2.65 million, according to the resolution.

Last month, the board approved a plan proposed by Potter Lawson for major renovations to the courthouse. The facility was constructed in Jefferson in 1961.

For the past 20 years, various studies have been conduct relating to the long-term needs of the county facilities, including the courthouse and adjoining sheriff’s office and jail. The first study was conducted in 2005.

Since the 2005 study, larger projects at the courthouse have included renovating public restrooms, modest upgrades to the county board room, technology upgrades to the courtrooms, roof replacement, and installing new boilers.

A study in 2014 found many components in the facilities have reached the end of life, according to the resolution. Based on those studies and reports, the Task Force on Operations and Organizations the County’s Strategic Plan committee determined a plan needed to be developed to update the courthouse.

In January of 2020, the board approved hiring Potter and Lawson to prepare plans for the renovations.

The plans proposed by Potter Lawson call for three additions to the courthouse, one in each corner except the southeast corner. The plans also call for the keeping the main entrance on the east side of the structuring, facing the parking lot.

A new elevator would be added on the west side of the building to be used by county judges, and the management information systems facility, located outside of the courthouse, would move to the northwest corner of the current building.

Other areas of the courthouse floor plan would be streamlined, with offices that garner the most public use be grouped together on the same floor.

The project is estimated to costs $35 million. The major financial factors in the project are heating, ventilation, and air conditioning needs, as well as mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other infrastructure updates. These make up about $17 million of the total $35 million project.

Funding for the architects’ services will be from existing and future bonds, which the board will need to approve at a future date.

Tower sitesSupervisors approved a bid of $636,227 to begin work on seven 911 emergency telecommunications tower sites.

The resolution passed unanimously, with supervisors Laura Payne and Dwayne Morris absent from the meeting.

The work includes the installation of prefabricated equipment shelters, backup generators and chain link fences, in addition to site grounding systems and other improvements.

After reviews by both the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the county administrative team, it was recommended the board approve the contract between the county administrator and Finish Excavating Inc. to carry out the six-figure project.

On July 8, the Jefferson County Finance Committee also reviewed the resolution and forwarded it along to the board to make a final decision.

This project is part of an overall communications upgrade, which has been in process since 2018.

According to the resolution, costs for the upgrades will be funded with a series of bonds.

In other repairs, an accumulation of ice on the roof on the Workforce Development building, caused damage to the gutters.

The board authorized the county administrator to enter into a contract with FJA Christiansen Roofing for $24,944 to repair the roof and Ready Electric for $16,750 for electrical repairs.

The board accepted a bid for a water main project on the south campus for $234,230 from Wondra Construction. The project includes the replacement of a water main as part of the south campus improvements. The water main project, including alternate routing options, would be done prior to the parking lot and Annex Road repaving.

Several appointments were also made during the meeting by the county administrator and human services board.

The appointments confirmed were Janet Sayre Hoeft and Dan Jaeckel (alternate) to the zoning board of adjustment for a three-year term; Kevin Wiesmann as parks director for an indeterminate term; Gino Racanelli to human services board (filling an unexpired term ending Nov. 1, 2022); Frankie Fuller to the nutrition project for a three-year term; Katie Dixon to the Aging and Disability Resource Center Advisory Committee for a three-year term.

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