County office building work continues

Architect Don Davison of JLG Architects gave his monthly progress report to the Ward County Commission Tuesday morning on the building projects the county is overseeing in Minot right now.

A total of 6.95 percent of the total Ward County office building has been built based on total project construction costs, with $1,152,152.08 being spent across the project so far.

About $1.1 million was spent on general construction, or 9.54 percent. $20,000 has been spent on mechanical construction and $17,000 has been spent on electrical work. Both mechanical and electrical work is expected to be light in the beginning of construction and will pick up later on as the building progresses.

In addition to cold winter temperatures, which are expected, another hiccup has “adversely affected” some of the construction work going on. It seems that a portion of foundation work can’t be completed until several utility companies move some of their lines.

“We’re having a little trouble finishing the foundation work on the east side of that north wing,” Davison said of the office building. “We’re having trouble with SRT and MidContinent and Xcel Energy for relocation of the utilities on those poles out of the way so that we can continue to do foundation work. You can see that there’s some structural steel going up over there. All of the steel for the first three floors is on site and they’re setting as much as they can before they get to a point where they need to complete the foundation work to finish that portion of the building.”

Davison claims that Mattson Construction Company, the general contractor for the project, “has tried numerous times” to get the utility companies on site to finish their work to move out of the way. He added that multiple work dates for the relocation have been set but each has been missed.

In the meantime, he did say that much of the structural steel for the three floors of the wing has been laid and all of the structural steel for the project is on site and ready to be put to use when the project can continue.

County jail update

Davison said that he’s glad that “we’ve kind of taken a step back in approach to that design” of the planned Ward County Jail expansion project.

The county lost possession of a parking lot owned by The Minot Daily News two weeks ago when a judge ruled that the “quick-take” eminent domain seizure of the property was not legal. The parking lot is the site commissioners hope to expand the jail onto and they were using it as a staging area for the work site of the office building next door.

Davison said his advisors from Minnesota, members of BWBR Architects, of St. Paul, Minn., a firm specializing in public buildings including jails, will be arriving within a couple weeks to sit down with the jail staff to work out details of the design.

Commissioner Jack Nybakken asked if all the design work going forward is contingent upon the acquisition of wanted property, namely the parking lot. Davison said that it is, but there are still design elements that can be worked out before that time.