Chesterton Tribune



Expo center work comes in under budget

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The Porter County Board of Commissioners awarded bids for renovation at the Porter County Expo Center at a special meeting on Tuesday for $85,000 in savings on the project.

The Board awarded a total of $3,203,696 to seven companies in eight bid categories. Skillman Corporation, the County’s agent in the projects under the umbrella of the Commissioners’ $30 million capital improvements plan, vetted 28 bids to recommend the low, responsive bidders. Dion Katsouros, senior project manager with Skillman, reported the numbers.

Katsouros said Skillman went over the bid package with the chosen bidders in the week between opening bids and awarding them to make sure the bidders fully understood the scope and expectations for the project.

Pangere Corporation was awarded the contract in the general trades category for $796,959 and the metal, studs, and drywall category for $398,792. The contract in the roofing category went to E.C. Babilla for $230,645. The contract in the flooring category went to Midwest Tile and Interiors for $322,638. The paint and wall coverings category went to Oosterbaan and Sons for $136,900. The plumbing category went to Keough Mechanical for $41,389. The Mechanical category went to D.A. Dodd for $722,223, and the electrical category went to Continental for $554,150.

Work on the Expo Center begins August 8. Commissioner President Jeff Good, R-Center, noted that the total cost of the project came in $85,000 under budget.

The Board also released the second bid package for renovations on the Porter County Courthouse in downtown Valparaiso. Katsouros said the second bid package includes interior updates to the restrooms and exterior work on the north side of the building removing planters and trees. The project will also involve improving the secured parking lot for judges by replacing fencing and rethinking the entries and exits. Katsouros expects to receive bids for that August 7 and award them August 14. Construction can then start the first week of September.

Work on the North County Complex, including the construction of a North Annex building the Commissioners will share with the Portage Food Pantry and the Portage Township Trustee, can begin as early as October 1 if the bids are advertised on August 20 and contracts are awarded September 18, as Skillman has planned, Katsouros said.

The North Annex project will be split into two bid packages, as the work on the Courthouse was. The second bid package for the North Annex will be advertised and contracts awarded in January for construction to start as soon as February.

“Right now, we’re basically right on schedule. We’re hitting all our dates. We’re hitting all of our milestones,” Good said.

Health Department Lease

The Board approved extending the lease for the Porter County Health Department’s office at 3630 Willowcreek Road in Portage.

Good said the move will give the Health Department a home while its new space in the North Annex is planned out and constructed. County Attorney Scott McClure said the lease has a 90-day early termination period allowing the Commissioners to end the lease as soon as they know when the new space is ready upon giving the lessor, Porter Hospital LLC, at least 90-days notice.

Good and McClure emphasized that Porter County Assessor John Snyder performed a fair market rent analysis to determine if the County was paying a fair price for medical office space. McClure said the County is paying $21.92 per square foot, with utilities factored in, which falls in the low end of the fair range Snyder identified between $20.50 and $29.50 per square foot.



Posted 7/20/2018




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