The multi-faceted Franklin County Court Facility Improvement project is progressing on schedule and continues to be within budget according to Project Manager John Hart.
An update was provided to the Board of Commissioners Thursday morning, covering the status of the sites that make up the $67.8 million project.
Archives Facility, 340 N Second Street
Renovations to the document storage area are substantially complete and the space is in use. Plans for employee offices and a public area are in development.
The office/public area renovation begins in the fourth quarter this year and be completed in Spring 2021.
Administration Building, 272 N Second Street
So far, project achievements include having underground utilities in place and foundation walls and piers poured. Steel beam construction begins next week.
The building should be substantially complete in September.
Judicial Center, 20 N Main Street
Foundation work is underway and cross-structural walls will soon be in place. Structural steelwork starts in the middle of February.
Contractors continue to backfill the foundation walls and the installation of a stormwater system is to start late February.
The County is working with Chambersburg Borough on installing pipework for stormwater drainage. Commissioners expect the project to be completed in the Fall of 2021.
Old Courthouse, 2 Main Street
Renovations should begin in February 2021 with completion in August 2021.
Courthouse Annex, 157 Lincoln Way East
Bids for the annex renovation project will be solicited late this year.
Hart reported that the total cost of change orders is currently less than 1% of the overall project budget. The amount of change orders for a complex project like the Court Facility Improvement Project typically runs between 8 – 11%. Hart’s goal is to stay below that average.
“We have a good team of local contractors, architects, and engineers on this project working with us to keep change orders at a minimum,” he said.
“Until you start digging, you just don’t know,” said Commissioner Chairman Dave Keller. “We have done our due diligence, but also understand that there are unknowns when it comes to working with old infrastructure. A contingency has been built into the budget for this as a way of expecting the unexpected,” he said.
As part of project planning, the County earmarked 10% of the budget for contingency. So far the overall facility project has seen $232,000 in change orders, which is 0.48% of combined active contracts.
Once complete, the facility project will offer increased safety and security to those visiting and working in court offices. It will also provide space to meet the demands of a growing county. Part of the advantage of renovation is the convenience and efficiency of co-located offices and services.