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Patrick Springer, Published September 09 2010

Work on Cass courthouse addition on schedule

Despite recent heavy rains, work on the first phase of the west addition to the Cass County Courthouse remains on schedule, officials learned Wednesday.

“Progress, I would say right now, is on schedule,” said Rick Hoganson, an architect for the project. “Phase one is moving along as well as can be expected.”

Work on the foundation for the $14.7 million project proceeds as finishing touches are being applied to plans for the rest of the building.

Bids for the second phase of the addition will be taken Oct. 7 and will be reviewed by the Cass County Building Committee on Oct. 13.

Placement of structural steel beams still remains four to six weeks in the future, as excavation work and installation of pre-cast concrete columns and other structures takes place, Hoganson said.

Several “hiccups,” including removal of asbestos to allow seismic testing underneath the old courthouse, has not resulted in significant delays, he added.

Meinecke-Johnson Co., the contractor for the first phase of the addition, will provide a schedule of its work to allow the contractor for the second phase to plan accordingly, Hoganson said.

Committee members agreed Tuesday that the county will keep its goal of moving electronic communications equipment out of the courthouse basement to allow county government to continue in the event the basement is flooded.

District Judge Doug Herman said court officials tested a mockup of new courtrooms, allowing designers to tweak their plans.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522