Johnson City Press Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Local News

Estimated construction costs increase for Northeast State's downtown site

November 9th, 2012 9:42 pm by Madison Mathews

Estimated construction costs increase for Northeast State's downtown site

Estimated construction cost for Northeast State Community College’s Washington County teaching site at the Downtown Centre have increased by about a half million dollars.
Representatives from Shaw & Shanks Architects, the firm responsible for the renovations of the downtown Johnson City site, and Northeast State presented an update on the project during Friday’s Johnson City Development Authority meeting.
After the JCDA purchased the building from Washington County for $1 million, Northeast State agreed to rent the building for a nominal fee from the organization.
Additionally, the JCDA provided a $1 million grant to the NSCC Foundation for renovations to the building.
In order to get the facility up to snuff, construction costs now total $1,512,750 for facility remediation and construction of academic spaces.
The JCDA approved a motion to provide the additional $512,750 contingent upon an altered lease agreement and the bank’s willingness to lend the money.
“We are prepared to change the lease agreement to where we’re paying money for the lease each moth, and that would cover any additional cost,” Northeast State President Janice Gilliam said.
The new cost factors in $353,000 for remediation work, $997,750 for construction fees, and $162,000 to replace the facility’s boilers, pumps and cooling tower.
Since signing the paperwork nearly a year ago, Northeast State has had crews clean both the exterior of the facility and the parking deck, spruce up landscaping surrounding the courtyard and apply a fresh coat of paint.
Initially, school officials expected to begin holding classes at the Downtown Centre in the fall. That changed when it became apparent more renovations were needed, and officials said students would be expected to begin their studies in the spring.
With all of the work that needs to be done, Gilliam said they hope to have the facility up and running for the fall 2013 semester.
One of the biggest hurdles facing the remediation is related to structural issues that are primarily on the Buffalo Street side of the building and the courtyard area.
Architect Tim Shaw said they plan to dig the current foundation up and stabilize it to keep the structure from shifting as it has in the past.
Another way to alleviate structural problems is to redirect pipes that carry rainfall from the roof to the street.
“Part of remedying this situation with the soil is to get the water off the building. The entire roof drains into that corridor in the courtyard, so you have a tremendous amount of water from the roof itself just coming down into that area,” Shaw said.
By redirecting the pipes, Shaw said they should be able to eliminate about 85 percent of the runoff.
The parking deck also is in need of work, which will alleviating some of the other water issues.
In terms of construction, Shaw said the ultimate plan is to have 17-18 classrooms on the first floor. The initial plans call for five new classrooms, and renovation of existing spaces into administration offices and other classrooms.

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