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Courthouse construction on schedule

Fri, Jun 27th, 2003
Posted in Features

According to Construction Manager Dean Sand the courthouse addition project is on schedule. It is expected that steel beams will be put in place in three weeks. Meanwhile, construction workers continue to do excavation work last week in Preston. Photo by John Torgrimson

Weather permitting, we should begin pouring walls tomorrow, Dean Sand of CAM, Inc. told the Fillmore County Board on Tuesday. Were three weeks out on setting steel.

Sand, along with representatives of Kane & Johnson Architects were before the board to update them on the courthouse project.

According to Sand, they are just about done with soil corrections. He said that to date they have spent an estimated $25,000 on soil issues and expect it to reach $30,000 when they are done. Sand said that they still need fill for sewer lines, sidewalks and slopes.

The Board discussed two change orders. The first issue was whether to add floor drains in public bathrooms. There was strong concensus that this would be an economical and useful thing to do. The board approved adding floor drains to seven bathrooms at a price not to exceed $1400 on a 4-1 vote, with Chairman Marc Prestby in opposition.

The second issue the board looked into was whether to add bullet resistant glazing to windows in the judges chambers as well as the county attorneys office. Architect Dave Kane said that it was important to make the decision now as it takes 12 weeks lead time to get the special windows.

Each window would cost $2,500 for grade 4 glazing. Glazing grades go up to 10, with highest grades capable of stopping a mortar shell. Grade 4 is capable of stopping a shotgun slug or rifle bullet, and would probably alter the projection of higher gauge bullets.

Judge Robert Benson questioned whether it would be just as effective to place tinting on the window.

The question is limiting vulnerability versus the cost of glazing, Benson said. He said that as a county attorney over a 20 year period he had received nine death threats and three over a six year period as a judge.

Benson went on to say that it is more likely someone would harm him on his way to his car rather than in his office.

But Kane argued that tinting doesnt work at night and that people would be able to see into the office.

Commissioner Chuck Amenrud said that he was in favor of playing it safe.

We have a judge that doesnt need it now, but another judge in the future may want it, Amenrud said. Commissioner Helen Bicknese agreed.

When asked by Commissioner Randy Dahl what the recommendaton of the Third Judicial District was regarding this issue, Benson answered that it was their recommendation that there be secure glass.

On a three to two vote, with Commissioners Marc Prestby and Duane Bakke opposed, the board approved purchasing bullet resistant glass for two windows in the judges chambers and one window in the county attorneys office.

The final issue concerning the building project had to do with cash flow. To date, the county has paid out $168,799 of the $3,711,365 project. Fillmore County Treasurer Phil Burkholder asked if a scheduled spend down could be put together so that he can better manage the countys investments. Sand said that he would put together a project cash flow schedule based on estimates.

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