Johnson County Hires Company to Replace Fire-Damaged Building

By Gregg Hennigan, Reporter

The Johnson County Courthouse on Friday, August 23, 2013. (MARK CARLSON/KCRG-THE GAZETTE)

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By Larry Burkum

IOWA CITY, Iowa – Johnson County has hired a Cedar Rapids-based company to build a new facility for its roads department to replace one damaged in a fire a year ago.

The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Thursday to award a contract to Point Builders LLC for nearly $4 million to construct a new Secondary Roads building.

The old structure, which was home to the department that oversees more than 900 miles of roads in the county, was damaged last March in a fire that destroyed county records and eight vehicles valued near or more than $200,000 each.

The new building will be at the same location as the old one, 4810 Melrose Ave. West, Iowa City.

Point Builders was one of six companies to bid on the project, and it had the lowest base bid at $3.93 million. The supervisors also accepted two alternates for the project that total $54,000.

Insurance will cover a little less than $1 million of the cost.

The base bid was 6 percent higher than the county’s estimate. Supervisor Rod Sullivan said that was not a surprise because of the unusually large amount of construction occurring in the Iowa City area, allowing construction companies to seek more money than they might in slower times.

Allen Varney of Cedar Rapids-based Ament Inc., which is designing the facility, said that probably was the biggest determining factor in the bids the county received.

“They are very busy right now,” he said of construction companies.

County engineer Greg Parker has said the goal is to have the building open by the end of this year.
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