From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 21 - August 21, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Frustrated by senior center delays

by Cat Urbigkit

Nylla Kunard and Mary Brodie spoke with the Sublette County Commission about the lack of progress on the new Hi-Country Senior Center in Pinedale.

Brodie said, "We're having a really hard time getting final plans that were promised April 1" from the architect. She added that the building contractor has been ready for months. Brodie said architect Brad Waters "informed us that we aren't a priority."

Tony and Bonnie Chambers of Chambers Design and Build, the construction firm handling the senior center project under contract with the county, echoed concerns about not having final plans in hand at this time.

Tony Chambers said that for their company, scheduling is the big issue, with it coming up on four months of when the project was due to start, and no idea at this time when the final plan will be ready.

Chambers said while Waters has requested the company provide another budget estimate, his company has already provided two preliminary budgets.

"We feel like our estimate is plenty safe, plenty high," Chambers said, noting that the numbers can't be pared down without knowing the specifics of the final plan.

"There's no point in another estimate as far as I'm concerned," said Bonnie.

Chambers said pursuant to his company's contract with the county, he feels that the preconstruction services in the contract are now complete, while the foundation and excavation at the building site is 75 percent complete, and the ordering of building's structural steel frame is in the process.

Chambers suggested that his company would produce a bid price for shelling the building in the near future while the final architectural plans are being completed.

"It's getting late in the year," Chambers said, but putting a shell up would give the architect more time to complete the drawings. The downside, according to Chambers, would be if the shell construction could begin in early October, if the plans weren't finalized in a timely manner, there could be future delays, leaving construction crews playing the waiting game.

"We're not a big company so this wait, wait game is more difficult for us," said Tony Chambers.

Chambers also noted that his company wouldn't begin any construction on the building until the state fire marshal has granted approval for construction to begin.

Commissioner Betty Fear listened to the problems and responded, "We need to really hammer Brad," adding that the county could be forced to find a new architect.

"I'm tired of the delay," Fear said. "It's gone on too long."

Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston suggested that he would call architect Waters and request that he attend the commission's Sept. 2 meeting, preferably with final drawings in hand.

"We just can't put up with this stuff anymore," Johnston said.

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