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Bid to renovate jail higher than estimated

Lowest offer for work is $2.5 million

Lowest offer for work is $2.5 million

February 02, 2007|by DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A bid to renovate the former Jefferson County Jail in downtown Charles Town is about $400,000 more than county officials estimated, and an architect working on the project said he will look at some ways to possibly reduce costs.

The lowest bid to renovate the jail was $2.5 million, more than the $2.1 million that county officials estimated for the project, officials said Thursday.

Matthew Grove of Grove & Dall'olio Architects in Martinsburg, W.Va., who is working on the renovation for county officials, briefed the Jefferson County Commission about the project Thursday.

Grove said the low bidder is a reputable firm, and he would talk to officials with the firm to examine some possible cost-saving measures.

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The second-lowest bid was for $2.6 million, and Grove told the commission he also could talk to that firm about cost-saving possibilities.

The commission will pick the best bid proposal, Commissioner Greg Corliss said.

The commission at one time considered demolishing the jail at the corner of George and Liberty streets, but the group Jefferson County Alliance to Save Our Heritage worked to save the structure.

Advocates of saving the jail said it should be preserved because of its architecture and because of a series of trials that were held in Charles Town in 1922 for miners involved in a labor uprising referred to as the Battle of Blair Mountain in southern West Virginia.

The commission decided against razing the jail, and now a mix of uses is planned for the building, including much-needed government office space.

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