HC Courthouse project proceeds

Published 8:59 am Thursday, September 23, 2010

WINTON – Hertford County continues to take steps toward the construction of a new judicial center.

During Monday night’s meeting of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, board members agreed to move forward with a contract with WareBonsall to serve as architects for the new facility.

“The board has authorized me to solicit an architectural agreement from WareBonsall to proceed on the courthouse project,” Hertford County Manager Loria D. Williams said by telephone Tuesday.

The new Judicial Center will be built across the street (in a dirt parking lot owned by the county) from the current courthouse. The 40,600 square-foot, two-story facility will house two courtrooms and office space for the Clerk of Court, Register of Deeds, Probation and Parole, District Attorney and Child Support Enforcement. The latter office space was recently added to the plans.

The total cost for the project is expected to come in at slightly less than $8 million.

The county had previously issued a Request for Qualifications from architects who would be interested in being part of the project, which has been moving along steadily for the past year.

Two firms were part of the final bid process, but WareBonsall was chosen for a combination of reasons, including their familiarity with the project, qualifications and fee proposal.

WareBonsall conducted the original needs assessment for the current facility when commissioners first began the process of deciding what should be done to repair or replace the aging facility.

The actual contract should be in place in time for the board to approve it on October 4 when they next meet.

After that, the proposal would call for a schematic design phase which would take five weeks followed by a one week review for Hertford County.

The design phase would begin next and take approximately 10 weeks and again the county would have a week to review it.

For the next 17 weeks, WareBonsall would start the construction document phase and then the final review by the board would take place for the next four weeks.

After that, the new judicial center would go out to bid and the process of seeking permits and getting Local Government approval would take place. That is expected to take approximately 13 weeks.

The construction phase of the project would then take approximately 69 weeks and the new facility could be occupied within eight weeks after that.

The total cost for WareBonsall’s work will come in at $459,710.