CATSKILL — Greene County is moving forward with a planned justice center set to be constructed behind the Greene County Courthouse on Main Street in Catskill.
During a special Public Works Committee meeting on Monday night, legislators unanimously passed a resolution to award a construction management services contract for $565,000 to Freeman Project Services of Cairo.
The full Legislature will vote on the contract resolution Wednesday.
The county previously hired the Lacey Thaler Reilly Wilson architectural firm of Albany in April to provide architectural, design and engineering services for the project.
“They’ve commenced their research and they’re doing their spacial analysis right now,” Greene County Administrator Shaun Groden said. “Tomorrow night’s action will be to hire the construction manager who will then work with the architect and make decisions about the construction style. Are we going to use pre-constructed panel walls or individual blocks? What type of air conditioning system and roofing system are we going to use? All of those types of things.”
The proposed three-story Justice Center will be located on the grounds of the former Greene County Jail.
Under the current plans for the facility, the ground floor of the building would house a secure parking garage, while the state office of the Court of Administration will rent the second floor of the building, with the third floor shared by the Greene County District Attorney’s Office and the Greene County Public Defender’s Office.
The new building would be connected to the courthouse by an elevated pedestrian walkway.
“There’s no offices today in the courthouse, but 40% of our caseload is in that court building,” Groden said Tuesday. “So we’re walking across the street now to go to court instead of just hopping over a bridge to go inside.”
Greene County Legislator Michael Bulich, R-Catskill, raised concerns regarding how rising commodity prices could increase the cost of the project.
“On this type of contract, if things go awry with prices and we decide to halt this, how does this affect a contract like this?” he said.
The Cairo company includes price estimation as part of its services, Groden said.
“The construction manager’s role is to understand commodity pricing and ordering,” he said Tuesday. “If some items are on long order or short order, does that mean we change the construction style based upon how soon the items can be sourced?”
The objective is to have those plans in place by the end of the year, with bids sent out to contractors early in 2023, Groden said.
“Then it would be the first project off the ground in the spring,” he said. “That’s my goal. We also recognize that’s a pretty aggressive schedule. You’re talking about the parking facility on the ground floor, then two stories of 14,000 to 16,000 feet per floor. There’s a lot of design and engineering there.”
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