12/17/2008: "Local Contractor Awarded Courtroom Bid"
(The old County Commissioners meeting room)
The original courtroom for San Juan County was taken over by the County Commissions after the new addition was added to the court house. Now that the County has a new administrative building, the old commissioner's meeting room will once again become a courtroom.
Peter C. Schmidt Construction of Friday Harbor will be doing the work on the courtroom and offices in the County Courthouse. The work is scheduled to be completed by early summer of 2009.
The final total cost of the renovation project is expected to be $527,000.
Half of the total will be reimbursed by a state grant and another $50,000 contributed by the Washington Trial Court Improvement Account. County Administrator Pete Rose noted that the primary source of the County’s contribution to the project is the Real Estate Excise Tax, which cannot be used for general County operations.
The County began the renovation after it was awarded a state grant for courthouse historic preservation in 2007. That grant pledged up to $367,000 in matching funds.
The first phase of the renovation, which is now complete, repaired roofing and structural problems, reattached the South Portico of the Courthouse and installed energy efficient, soundproof windows. The work to be performed under the new contract will transform the old Board of County Commissioners hearing room into a fully functional court room, add jury facilities and adjacent offices for District Court employees.
The work was divided into three schedules for the bidding and Schmidt Construction was the lowest of the three bidders on each. The company’s combined bid of $231,533.46 was $78, 000 less than the second lowest bidder and nearly $197,000 less than the architects estimate. The low bid should enable the overall project to come in under budget and without the County having to take out a short-term loan to fund completion, as it had anticipated.