The completion date for Delaware County’s new courthouse has once again been pushed back.
Officials said last week that the date has been delayed from July 31 to Aug. 31. The original completion date for the courthouse was June 30 of this year.
“Currently, they are working on a July 31 substantial completion for the majority of the building,” Facilities Director Jon Melvin told county commissioners last Thursday morning. He said the construction management company, Lendlease, is concerned about the status of work on the courtrooms on the fifth floor of the new building.
“They’re anticipating not having that completed until the end of August,” Melvin said.
Melvin presented a 15-item list of changes to the construction of the courthouse for commissioners to approve during the meeting.
“The net increase in the changes is $31,400,” he said.
Commissioners signed off on the changes.
County Administrator Ferzan Ahmed said the construction costs are still $200,000 below the guaranteed maximum price of $39.3 million. Current construction costs have reached $39.1 million for the project that started in the fall of 2015.
“The contractor has requested a time extension through Aug. 31.” Ahmed said. “Based on the documents that Jon Melvin and I have looked at, I don’t recognize that. I do recognize July 31 as a legitimate time extension do to various things that may have happened in 2016, mostly weather related.”
Ahmed said there are two things that are not being sacrificed, the guaranteed maximum price and the quality of work.
Ahmed said until the fifth floor of the new courthouse is completed the county can’t move into the building. He said the move wouldn’t be possible until September.
Melvin said there are more than 250 pages of detailed drawings related to the construction of the courthouse. He said he attributes some of the delay to omitted details in the design and the associated coordination issues due to the change in the work.
He said the changes varied from adjustments in the courtrooms that were requested by the judges, mechanical issues, details in the drawings, and some value-added changes.
“I attribute this to the push we had to get the drawings done to keep this project moving,” he said. “They condensed the design of the building and expedited the plans to the contractor to get it out for pricing. If we had a couple of months to go through (the drawings), some of it could have been avoided.”
D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.