Contractors filled a room in the Ward County Courthouse in Minot Thursday afternoon to hear details from architect Don Davison on aspects of the construction phase of the upcoming Ward County Office Building before submitting their bids.
There wasn't much new from Davison, the chief architect for the project designed by JLG Architects which have an office in Minot. Most of the information reiterated what had been stated in the past and a chance for contractors to have their own questions answered.
"It looks like church is getting out early," Davison said when the floor was opened for questions but the contracters were largely silent.
A new county office building will replace this gravel parking lot north of the courthouse, seen in the background to the right. Although not part of this bidding schedule, the Ward County Jail, seen at left in the background, will also see an extension north of its current site. The final plans for the jail are contingent upon the county reaching an agreement on land use.
The full budget for the project is $15.3 million.
Davison feels that the base plans, which are the basic options that the office building will include no matter what, should definitely fall within that budget. There are 12 alternates, however, that have been included for possible additions to the project that will be selected on a priority basis if the bids allow for their inclusion.
The top priority would be a "skyway," which would connect the historic courthouse with the second floor of the office building by way of a suspended walkway between the buildings. The distance between the buildings would be 67 feet.
Other alternatives were detailed in a July 18 article in The Minot Daily News (http://bit.ly/16K124C) and are also included within the plans for the building.
The office building will extend north to within 20 feet of the southern building of Minot Fire Station 2 on 3rd Street Southeast.
A very small substation for natural gas power owned by Montana-Dakota Utilities Company will probably be moved to the extreme northeast of the lot, following legal and contractual negotiations with the company.
One contractor questioned where heavy equipment will be staged and where workers would park for the project. Davison said that, for now, the parking lot leased by the county from Canadian Pacific Railway, which is located to the northeast and east of The Minot Daily News building, seems to be the best option. Some county employees who have been parking in the gravel lot will have to join the contractors in the leased lot, or move to the underused lot west of the courthouse.
All utilities will be provided at the expense of contractors, Davison said, so they should factor that into their bid numbers.
Bids will be opened at 4 p.m. August 15. Those bids will be reviewed the following day at 1 p.m. Both events will take place in the Commissioner's Chambers on the second floor of the Ward County Courthouse.