Contract Awarded For Improvements To County Engineer’s Office

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An $87,013 contract was awarded Wednesday to Hoon Inc. of Athens by the Athens County Commissioners for improvements to the county engineer’s office building near Canaanville.

The commissioners also took an initial step toward improvement projects at the Courthouse and its annex.

Bids for the engineer’s office project were opened Wednesday, and Hoon Inc. was the low bidder among the three companies giving quotes. The architect’s estimate for the project was $115,000.

The office building, as originally constructed, had a large open area where employees worked in carrels. Also, the ceiling was constructed in a way that it did not extend all the way to the outer walls, which contributed to problems with heating and cooling the space.

Earlier this year, walls were put up to make a private office for County Engineer Jeff Maiden.

Maiden said the new project will include completing the ceiling, putting up partition walls and making the heating and air conditioning system more efficient. The project also involves insulation and window shades.

Architect David Moran said the improvements will resolve heating and cooling issues that have created temperatures as low as 46 degrees in the winter and as hot as the high 80s in the summer.

Moran said walls will be installed to create a meeting room, filing room and map/storage room.

Earlier this year, Hoon received a $25,290 contract to create the office for Maiden within the building, with the work including walls, floor covering, electrical work and some modifications to the heating/air conditioning system.

In January, the commissioners approved borrowing $1.3 million for capital improvement projects, with part of the loan to be repaid by the commissioners from the county general fund and part by the county engineer from his budget.

Because the commissioners own the engineer’s building, they agreed to use $80,000 from their share toward the office improvements by Hoon.

Maiden will get part of the loan money, to be repaid from his budget, for an upcoming project to construct a salt storage building at the Canaanville site. Maiden said his department has already started site preparation for the project. Construction of the building is expected to go out to bid in August or September, Maiden said.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the commissioners met with architect John Valentour to discuss improvements needed to the county’s downtown Athens buildings. Some of the items discussed included new windows in parts of the Courthouse Annex, and Courthouse repairs to chimneys, the Lady Justice statue, the front steps, bricks and the clock tower (insulation and stopping pigeons from getting in). Also mentioned was the roof at the sheriff’s office.

Valentour agreed to do an inspection and put together a list of needed repairs with rough cost estimates, so that the commissioner can decide which projects to go forward with at this time. Money from the $1.3 million loan will be used to pay for the projects.