County Public Building Committee to host special meeting in October to review payment options


The Edwards County Public Building Committee discovered just how much it will cost them to restore the clock tower peaking the county courthouse Monday morning.

The PBC, an offshoot of the Edwards County Board of Commissioners, reviewed a bid from Renaissance Roofing for the project during their September meeting. While the committee did not vote to accept the bid during the meeting, they did elect to proceed forward with the project with the expectation that they will formally accept it during a special meeting scheduled in October.

The bid by Renaissance amounted to $674,200 for the work, which is estimated to take 26 weeks to complete.

Factored into the cost of the project is the installation of tower and spire systems at $215,200, sheet metal materials and fabrications at $184,000, mobilization and scaffolding at $173,000, tower and spire cladding demolition at $69,000 and flat roofing at $33,000.

While the cost may seem high, restoration specialist Bob Yapp, who was hired to oversee the Albion Pagoda restoration project, informed the PBC that the bid was on the low end for the scale of the work involved.

“One of the top companies in the country submitted a bid,” said Yapp of Renaissance. “In my reckoning, while I was going through existing conditions and specifications, I was thinking that this could come in at anywhere from $650,000 and $1.2 million. You’ll probably come in at under $700,000 (even) with extras.

“Now that may sound like a lot, and I know that’s nothing to sneeze at, but that is a really, really, really, really good bid for the total restoration of this.”

Yapp also noted that the bid includes a plan to place copper on the clock tower as well, which will eliminate the need for it to be painted in the future.

“I think that’s a huge deal,” he said of the copper plan, ”because then you’ll have another 170–200 years where you don’t have to worry about the skin anymore.”

One member of the PBC expressed confidence in the bid after hearing Yapp’s words.

“It gives me a better feel when he says, ‘Look guys, this is coming in way under what I thought it was going to be,’” stated Davis Messman.

PBC Chairman Matt St. Ledger stated that the bid exceeded his expectations as well.

“Actually, it was about $400,000 cheaper than I thought it was going to be,” he said.

One committee member suggested possibly levying for more money in order to meet the cost of the project.

“Right now we levy $150,000 a year for PBC,” explained Duane Lear. “We can raise that.”

St. Ledger expressed that the county may be able to use the funds it currently receives to fund the project with proper planning, however.

For the rest of the story, check out this week's Navigator.