From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 3, Number 23 - September 4, 2003
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

Building delays discussed

by Cat Urbigkit

Sublette County Commissioners, builder Tony Chambers and building committee members from the Hi-Country Senior Center met with architect Brad Waters Tuesday to discuss delays in progress on a new senior center building in Pinedale.

"There have been a whole bunch of folks upset about some of this stuff, and the county commissioners are some of those folks," Commission Chairman Gordon Johnston said.

Waters said that although he has been awaiting final drawings, he was just receiving the last of the electrical drawings via e-mail on Tuesday, so with a day or two to polish the drawings, and a 24-hour turnaround time for printing, the final plans and specs should be delivered to the county on Friday and to pre-qualified bidders on Monday.

After discussing the issue, the date for the public opening of the bids was set for be Oct. 3, with the awarding of the bid slated for the commission's Oct. 7 meeting. Meanwhile, the plans will also be submitted to the state fire marshal for review and approval.

Waters recommended to the commission that Chambers work up a firm price for erecting the building's shell, adding that the structural steel frame has already been contracted.

Waters said he wanted to get that price for the shell before the project was let to bid. Chambers agreed to have the shell costs to Waters by Sept. 15.

Waters said the cost estimate provided by Chambers earlier on shelling the building was high, but Chambers said the final cost estimate will have a list of value-engineering items that could be used to cut the costs of the project, but these items couldn't be listed until the final plans are available for review. Chambers said these cost-saving measures "should be an integral part of the bidding process."

Chambers said his earlier cost estimate was high to make sure all items were covered. Waters said the estimate was about 17 percent over the project's budget, but added that getting the shell cost and general conditions will help narrow down the price tag.

Once the senior center project discussion was completed, Commissioner Bill Cramer turned Waters' attention to the county courthouse complex project, noting that few people appear to be working on the project and it is behind schedule.

Waters said that general contractor Hogan and Associates has hired someone to work on a punch list from phase one of the project, and that work is continuing on the floors in the new courthouse wing currently.

Water said that the mechanical crews usually work four 10-hour days, while the electrical crews work three 12-hour days, and other subcontractors "come and go when they can."

Waters did note that the painting is not being completed as quickly as expected and there are other problems as well.

When Cramer asked just how far behind the project is now, Waters said that he had originally estimated it to be a three-year project, but the construction companies estimated that the project would only take two years. Now the project is coming on its third year, Waters said, with the commission and the public concerned about slow progress on the project.

"We were all wrong," Waters said.

Cramer said, "It seems to me like they need to get cracking over there, get moving."

Cramer asked how long it would be before the job is done: "Are we looking at the next millennium, here?"

Waters said that he will request the construction company commit to a written job schedule, with a monthly review of that schedule during county commission meetings. The review will take place at the commission's second meeting each month, it was decided, beginning in October.

"Pin them down, get them motivated and get them moving," Cramer requested.

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