Bertie facilities in need of repair

Published 11:07 am Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WINDSOR – Rectifying a variety of problems with buildings owned by Bertie County could be accomplished for as little as $658,000.

Monday morning, the Bertie County Board of Commissioners received a report from Richard Andrews of SmithSinnett concerning the state of four buildings in the county.

That report concluded that much of the work that needs to be done to repair the Bertie County Courthouse, the Administrative Office Complex, the Board of Elections office and the Council On Aging building could be accomplished for less than $700,000.

“We asked Richard to come in and look at the buildings and see what needs to be done,” Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb explained to the board. “He and his firm did this at no cost.”

Andrews gave a slide show presentation, one revealing some of the areas in the four buildings that need the most attention.

The Council on Aging building needs to have the roof repaired, patched and repainted, according to Andrews. He said the roof had been painted at some point since it was put on, but both paint jobs were peeling badly and a fresh coat of paint was needed.

The cost for that project is estimated at approximately $41,000.

The Board of Elections office on Watson Street, formerly known as the old hospital annex, is in need of a new roof.

“The roof needs to be taken off to the deck,” Andrews reported. “The roof drains also need to be cleaned.”

The replacement cost for a membrane roof with a 20-year warranty is estimated at $28,648.

The structure that needs the most work is the Bertie County Courthouse.

The roof, gutters and downspouts all need to be replaced on the facility, according to Andrews. There is also work that needs to be done to repair the wood trim work around the building.

In addition, there needs to be repairing and repainting of brick walls, porch columns, the clock tower, cupola, balustrade and the porch ceiling.

Andrews also suggested the replacement of the courthouse windows with one-inch thick insulated windows.

The total cost for repairs and work at the courthouse would be approximately $310,000.

The study also looked at the administrative office annex building next to the courthouse which houses the county manager’s office, tax office and other essential county offices.

Andrews suggested replacing the roof, which has leaked since it was first put on.

“The roof was not installed correctly and the only thing we think you can do is put on a new roof,” Andrews said.

He also suggested repairing the board soffits and painting the metal as well as repairing the downspout drains and repainting the wood columns.

In addition, Andrews said the HVAC system on the second floor needed to be replaced. The first floor system was replaced earlier and designs were done for the second floor, but it was never implemented.

John Sinnett, who accompanied Andrews to the presentation, said the total cost of the job, which could be as high as $761,356 if it were done at once with metal roofs placed on some of the buildings, would still be cheaper if it were done now.

“You have a situation where the longer it goes on, the more damage you will have done to the sub structure,” Sinnett said. “It’s cheaper to fix the roof now than to have more damage done.”

“It’s a lot less expensive now than waiting five years,” Andrews chimed in.

Commission Chairman L.C. Hoggard III said he appreciated the information that had been provided to the board.

“You have given us the information we need as we work through this,” he said. “We appreciate the work.”

Commissioner Rick Harrell asked if the board could hold a work session to discuss the repairs and Hoggard said he felt that would be in order. Harrell also asked that Lamb provide information about a facility use study that is being conducted by the county’s staff.

A date and time for the work session will be decided at a later date.