Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Courthouse Update

While everyone else was at Space 360 last evening to hear Sam Pratt and Peter Jung talk about the waterfront, Gossips was at Board of Supervisors' Public Works/Facilities Committee meeting to learn more about the plans for expanding our beautiful Columbia County Courthouse.

Earlier this month, while hearing the case brought by Don Christensen against the City of Hudson over the sale of a piece of Willard Place Park to Eric Galloway's Lihtan Group, Judge Paul Czajka waved a sheaf of rolled up architect's plans in the air and explained congenially to a witness that they were for ramps to be installed on either side of the entrance to the century-old Warren and Wetmore building. No plans were in evidence at last night's committee meeting, but Public Works Commissioner David Robinson did have something to report about the courthouse project.

The architectural firm for the project is Lothrop Associates, who, Robinson said, are "doing a great job." Robinson reported that he and the architect from the firm assigned to the project met recently with representatives of the Office of Court Administration, and the plans for the project, which had been "60 percent," were now "90 percent." Robinson called this a "major hurdle for the courthouse project." Robinson is now seeking approval for a change order to pay the architects an additional $85,000 for design services connected with introducing central air conditioning into the original courthouse. This amount, if approved, would bring the architects' fees to $325,000: $240,000 for designing the addition to the courthouse, which presumably will include elevators and handicapped accessible restrooms; $85,000 for designing a way to introduce air conditioning into the 1907 building.

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