Government

More News | | | Editor

Delays add millions to Augusta Municipal Building remodeling

Monday, July 30, 2012 6:48 PM
Last updated Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:23 AM
  • Follow Government

Delays associated with a planned $18 million remodeling job at the Augusta Municipal Building have driven the cost up by between $5 million and $6 million, according to City Administrator Fred Russell.

Back | Next
The cost of remodeling the Augusta Municipal Building has skyrocketed due to lawsuits and code compliance issues.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
The cost of remodeling the Augusta Municipal Building has skyrocketed due to lawsuits and code compliance issues.

Russell, who revealed the news at a Monday commission committee meeting, said a lawsuit filed last year over the city’s selection of a construction manager had added $3 million to the cost, with the rest taken up by construction costs that have risen over time.

Remodeling the half-century old building initially awaited the move of Richmond County judges, clerk of courts, prosecutors and other legal staff into the Augusta Judicial Building and John H Ruffin Jr. courthouse after it was completed in the spring of 2011.

Just as the legal personnel were moving out, the city was hit with a lawsuit filed by John Z. Speer and the Augusta-Richmond County Property Owners Association, alleging unfairness in the city’s award of a $1.3 million bid to Turner Construction Co. to serve as construction manager at risk for the sales-tax-funded project.

Based on the suit, Chief Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet issued an injunction preventing the project from moving forward. After the city amended its code to allow the use of construction managers at risk and provided a written justification for not using competitive sealed bids, Overstreet lifted the injunction.

Also adding to the expense are the larger-than-anticipated costs of getting the building up to modern fire safety codes and compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Russell said.

The three half-century-old elevator shafts, for instance, are about three inches too small to accommodate the slightly larger elevator cars required under the law, he said.

Originally presented as a $14 million project included in the special-purpose, local-option sales tax package VI approved by voters in 2009, the project currently has about $19 million in available funds, Russell said.

Russell said he’d been working to fit the project into its budget for a month with no success and would return with a “revised plan” at an upcoming meeting.

Comments (11) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 07/30/12 - 09:22 pm
8
0
Scapegoat

Ummm...yeah.

The last time I checked... Our economy is plummeting toward a recession, construction costs are down everywhere, and our City has a notorious history of over-budget projects (i.e. TEE Center, parking decks, etc).

Yet, Russell wants us to buy a load of hogwash that a delay of a few months by a lawsuit cost millions of dollars.

The person pointing fingers should step in front of a mirror.

americafirst
965
Points
americafirst 07/30/12 - 09:35 pm
1
4
The delay was for 8 months

The delay was for 8 months and the costs of construction materials (steel, concrete, wallboard products, etc.) have indeed increased dramatically.

Brad Owens
4294
Points
Brad Owens 07/31/12 - 12:34 am
7
0
Go sell crazy someplace else

So you mean to tell me the cost of construction has risen by 1/3 in 8months? Funny, that is not what I have seen..

http://enr.construction.com/economics/

This is renovation, not reconstruction. $18mil? The entire building isn't worth 18mil.

augustarookie
300
Points
augustarookie 07/31/12 - 12:51 am
7
0
Same ole stuff

Does this surprise anyone? No way things handled via our Commission will ever come out as expected.

Riverman1
82451
Points
Riverman1 07/31/12 - 07:01 am
6
0
"Also adding to the expense

"Also adding to the expense are the larger-than-anticipated costs of getting the building up to modern fire safety codes and compliance under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Russell said.

The three half-century-old elevator shafts, for instance, are about three inches too small to accommodate the slightly larger elevator cars required under the law, he said."

This is the real reason costs went up. Poor planning. More BS from Russell and Co.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:08 am
6
0
lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 07/31/12 - 08:48 am
0
0
18 million dollars huh....i
Unpublished

18 million dollars huh....i am sure there will be a few "white envelopes" handed out to "tax'em fred" and others in high places....

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 07/31/12 - 10:31 am
5
0
Bamboozled again

With the massive construction programs in the Richmond and Columbia county school systems, why aren't they also experiencing higher prices over the past 8 months?

Why is the Augusta Commission unique?

Does the City of Augusta magically operate outside the economy?

dstewartsr
20389
Points
dstewartsr 07/31/12 - 04:10 pm
3
0
Open Curtain's

...07:33 post hit every nail in this coffin of lies and doubledealing squarely on the head.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 07/31/12 - 05:15 pm
1
0
After completion, what will

After completion, what will be the usage of the property?

bubbasauce
20573
Points
bubbasauce 07/31/12 - 05:31 pm
1
0
Open curtain, you got them

Open curtain, you got them all pegged about everything! If you ever run for any office, you got my vote. Hang em high

madgerman
236
Points
madgerman 07/31/12 - 06:01 pm
0
0
Having voted today in an
Unpublished

Having voted today in an election with a ballot that looked like something dreamed up by a thirdworld dictator. I can well understand why we are in trouble. Kinda neat to have all the judges as a take it or forget it candidate, almost like the4 elections for Hugo Chavez. What we need is a law that says if a position is unopposed, then a selection of no confidence is authorized. If a sitting judge is outvoted by no confidence then there should be a new election and the incumbent should not be allowed to run. Of course because we all seem to love to send lawyers to atlanta as our representatives, the laws are going to stay the same and incumbent princes will sit on the bench unopposed for decades.

Laughingatchu007
89
Points
Laughingatchu007 07/31/12 - 07:36 pm
0
0
Just another day

Just another day in the circus that is Richmond County. I for one am tired of the chief clown, Fred Russell wasting money and finding one reason after another to point the finger at someone else. Until he is gone Augusta will continue to plummet. Move over Barnum Bailey's Augusta-Richmond County has y'all beat with all the clowns in our government.

dichotomy
32188
Points
dichotomy 07/31/12 - 07:43 pm
0
0
Just Double It.

"Originally presented as a $14 million project included in the special-purpose, local-option sales tax package VI approved by voters in 2009"

Anything they sucker us with on a SPLOST we should automatically figure on the cost being double....maybe triple......like Obamacare you know.

If the government is running it, it will cost 3 times what is should and you will get 1/2 the product. Especially if Fred is doing the original "costing". Hey Fred, nobody is believing a 30% increase in 8 months.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs