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Washington County commissioners OK $69,000 for senior center redesign

July 17, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com
  • This is an artist's rendering of the new senior center to be built on the Hagerstown Community College campus. County government will build a senior activities center at a proposed site on the Hagerstown Community College campus, but will have it redesigned without a second floor to reduce the cost, the Washington County Board of Commissioners decided Tuesday.
Herald-Mail file photo

The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved spending about $69,000 to redraw plans for a proposed senior citizens center.

The scope of the project changed a few months ago after bids for an earlier version were over budget.

The county commissioners agreed to cut the proposed building on the Hagerstown Community College campus from two stories to one story and to make it smaller.

On Tuesday, the commissioners voted 4-0 to pay Bushey Feight Morin Architects of Hagerstown $69,228.75 to alter the design for the center. It was considered a change order to the original $293,000 contract to design the building and oversee the construction process.

Commissioner John F. Barr abstained. He has stayed out of discussions and votes on the senior center because his company, Ellsworth Electric, was considered as a subcontractor in some of the bids.

Public Works Director Joseph Kroboth III said the new plans are going through an internal review process.

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It could take three to six more weeks before the project can go out to bid, he said.

County employees are treating the project as a top priority, he said.

A memo Kroboth prepared on the latest expenditure says the commissioners agreed in May that the building design should be modified.

At the time, the county had budgeted about $5.8 million for the project.

When bids came back, the county learned that it would have cost about $8 million to build the center as envisioned. A scaled-down, one-story center would cost about $6.5 million, Kroboth said at the time.

County officials decided to add about $700,000 in savings from the early payment of Airport Runway Improvement Bonds to the previously budgeted $5.8 million to reach the new level of $6.5 million.

The Washington County Commission on Aging would have moved its administrative offices into the second floor of the senior center, but now will stay in its current home on West Franklin Street in Hagerstown, Kroboth said.

The current plan is for a one-story senior citizen center of 18,728 square feet. The earlier plan was for a two-story building of about 27,000 square feet.

Kroboth said there has been one other change order on the project — alternate plans for the gymnasium.

The base bid will be for a high school-style gym. A second bid option will be for a larger gym.

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