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Centre courthouse renovations finally get the green light

BELLEFONTE — The Centre County Courthouse renovations are on schedule. Contracts were awarded for the $1.26 million project at yesterday’s commissioners meeting.

Centre County deputy administrator Bob Jacobs brought the final numbers to the board for approval. Bids for Phase II of the courthouse project were opened at the Oct. 15 meeting. Less than a month later, the commissioners saw the final numbers.

For general contractor, the board approved J.C. Orr and Son, Inc., out of Altoona. The contract total is $644,698, including a $6,000 fee for tap and a unit price of $250 per cubic yard for rock excavation. The commissioners also approved a contract with Joseph C. Hazel, Inc., of Bellefonte for plumbing services and fire protection. The cost of that portion of the project is slightly higher than originally believed, coming in at $422,634. According to Jacobs, the sprinkler portion of the the plumbing contract came in at $305,084. A nitrogen generator will cost the county $19,400.

“This nitrogen generator will (aid) the pipes. They’ll be pressurized with air for a portion of the sprinkler system above courthouse one — the historical section of the courthouse. We don’t want to leave water in those pipes for obvious reasons. This nitrogen generator will prolong and prevent corrosion,” Jacobs said.

Finally, the board approved a contract with Stelco, Inc., also out of Altoona for the services of electrical contractor. The contract total is for $192,705.

All told, the project will come in around $1.26 million.

The renovations will take place on the second and third floors of the courthouse. Additionally, there will be a security vestibule added to the back entrance of the fourth floor and the entire courthouse will get new fire alarms and a sprinkler system.

The commissioners unanimously approved the contracts.

Weber Murphy Cox of State College will oversee the project, which is expected to be completed by April of 2020.

Commissioner Steve Dershem requested a meeting with Weber Murphy Fox to ensure that there is a construction manager onsite.

“I believe, based on the size of these contracts and the scope of this project that we strongly consider having a construction manager to monitor the progress of this project,” Dershem said. “This is going to be a very complicated project and my fear is that if we have a lot of change orders, it’s worth our time to be proactive.”

The contracts will be added to next week’s consent agenda for final approval.

In other business, the commissioners:

— Heard a presentation about Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy, or CPACE.

— Passed Resolution No. 17 of 2019, which is a resolution stating the county’s agreement to comply with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Acot of 1973 to protect individuals from discrimination based on their disability. Appointing the Centre County Risk Manager as the Section 504 Office for the period of Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2024. Resolution No. 17 of 2019 was moved to next week’s consent agenda.

— Approved an agreement with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for the 2020 Mosquito Disease Control Program. The total award is for $99,896 for the period of Jan. 1, 2020 through Dec. 31, 2020.

— Offered a letter of support to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging in support of the Centre Region Senior Center’s grant application.

— Approved a grant agreement with the Pennsylvania Emergency Management System (PEMA) for the 2019-2020 Hazardous Material Response Fund Grant. Total award is $15,188.66 for the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020.

— Announced that the commissioners meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 26 has been cancelled. The commissioners will meet at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 19 at the Willowbank Building.

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