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Published October 12 2011

Cass courthouse on track for May finish

FARGO – Construction on a $14.7 million addition to the Cass County Courthouse is progressing mostly on track to be finished by May.

Contractors should finish most of the exterior work to fully enclose the 70,000-square-foot addition by late November, said Rick Hoganson, a project consultant from Foss Architecture & Interiors.

The brickwork and roofing needs to be finished before all the windows are installed, Hoganson told county leaders during a project update Wednesday.

Throughout the winter, crews will focus on interior work, including moving in furniture and other furnishings.

The Cass County Building Committee recommended approval of a maximum $27,500 contract to have Foss Architecture handle the purchase of furnishings for the addition.

The contract now goes to the County Commission for final approval.

Commissioner Scott Wagner, chairman of the building committee, said the contract was reasonable for the logistical time-savings it would bring.

“We want this in place by the time we open the doors,” Wagner said. “This needs to be occupied and ready to serve the public, and you need the furnishings to do that.”

“This would help to make sure this structure is ready on time,” he said.

County Administrator Keith Berndt said contractors hit a temporary snag in the project recently, after discovering a gas line needs to be moved to accommodate the foundation for a skywalk planned over 10th Street South.

Xcel Energy plans to start relocating the gas line next week, which should clear the way for skywalk construction yet this fall, Berndt said.

The addition and the existing courthouse could be officially joined by February, Hoganson said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541