Tunnel adds to costs for Davis County courthouse project

May 29 2012 - 8:49pm

FARMINGTON -- A 60-foot-long utility access tunnel beneath the Davis County Memorial Courthouse, among other surprises, has resulted in a $143,444.77 change order for the $22.8 million courthouse campus renovation.

The tunnel, which could be 80 years old, runs in a southeast direction from the basement of the original portion of the 1929 historic courthouse, to an addition added many years later on the south side of the building, said project manager Barry Burton, Davis County director of planning.

The tunnel, in which communication and power utilities link the sections, has forced crews to reroute storm drain work on the renovation project, Burton said. The utility lines in the tunnel also connect to the county library on the site, he said.

"We just can't collapse (the tunnel)," Burton said.

It would be more costly to reroute the utilities than the storm drain system, he said.

The cost to the county for the storm drain reroute is $23,000.

On Tuesday, the Davis County Commission approved what is the eighth change order on the campus renovation, which is set for completion either in fall 2012 or the first part of 2013.

Even with the latest change order, the project remains within budget and the county does not anticipate having to make a budget change during the 2012 calendar year to cover the added expenses, Davis County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said.

"We're still on track with the total estimated cost of the project," Rawlings said.

But the county may have to look at making changes to its 2013 budget when the final bill for the project is totaled, Rawlings said.

The latest change order also includes an upgrade to the exterior security camera system and provides needed heating duct work for the lone room on the fourth floor of the administrative office building, Burton said.

Burton said additional expenses included adding flashing to the new building's windows to prevent them from leaking in the event of a storm and repaving the new Children's Justice Center parking lot after soft spots were found.

The campus renovation consists of a $15.7 million full three-story administrative office building; the $1.8 million CJC; a $4.2 million library headquarters; and $1.1 million in contingency funds.

The project is being funded by recovery zone bonds made available through the President's federal stimulus package.

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