DOBSON — County commissioners recently approved change-orders totalling more than $9,000 for the renovation project at the historic courthouse, and the end is nearing for another structure owned by the county.
On Oct. 17 Facilities Manager Don Mitchell brought the two change-orders before the Surry County Board of Commissioners.
Mitchell told the board when contractor David Hill Builders started work on the north entrance to the courthouse, which now houses the offices of the district attorney, the entrance was found to be in worse shape than what was expected.
“The bricks are crumbling,” explained Mitchell.
Mitchell said for a price tag of $6,638.47 David Hill Builders would replace the stone.
Another change-order, which was also approved unanimously by the four commissioners in attendance at the meeting, will replace a concrete slab and water-proof the new walls.
Mitchell said a concrete slab near the entrance slopes toward the building, an issue which has led to water damage. The total cost of the second change-order is $2,469.63.
Commissioner Larry Johnson asked if Mitchell believed the project would stay within the budgeted amount, which Finance Officer Sarah Bowen noted was $550,000.
Mitchell said he was unsure whether the project’s 10-percent contingency fund would cover all change-orders associated with the first phase of the renovation project. If not, the money may be able to be mustered from somewhere else in the buildings fund.
Bowen also noted architectural fees were not considered in the project’s budget.
Mitchell said a former classroom building at the Beulah Community Center has set empty for years, used only for storage by a community group. There is no water service or electrical service in the building, and the door is pad-locked.
“It’s in ill repair…It has been sitting there for years in this condition,” said board Chairman Buck Golding. “It’s not doing us any good.”
Mitchell said he enlisted a contractor to check for asbestos in the building, a task which must be completed prior to receiving demolition permits. The contractor found the carcinogenic material in 11 areas of the building.
The cost to hire a company to remove the asbestos will be around $35,000 to $40,000, according to Mitchell.
The board gave its unanimous consent to allow Mitchell to garner quotes from three to four companies capable of removing the asbestos.
“It’s been tested, and we know it has asbestos,” said Commissioner Van Tucker prior to casting his vote. “It’s a liability.”
Golding instructed Mitchell to give the group using the building at least 30 days notice to remove its property prior to starting any demolition-related work at the site.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.