The Flagler County Commission today approved a $16 million appropriation for the next and final phase of construction of the Sheriff’s Operations Center on Commerce Boulevard in Bunnell–actually, what will be Sheriff E.W. Johnston Boulevard. Bunnell named the future street after the county’s first sheriff, wo also served as its sixth sheriff and as a county judge until 1956.
The amount will cover “all remaining construction costs associated with the vertical structure,” according to the contract, including foundations, structure, finishes, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire protection and landscaping. The appropriation would be about $200,000 less than originally expected, according to Lon Newman, the construction manager with Ajax Construction Co., the contractor on the project. It brings the total cost of construction to $18.9 million. That price tag does not include the county’s financing costs, which push the price closer to $23 million.
The project’s “substantial completion date” of the 51,615 square-foot, two-story building is now slated for Oct. 10, 2022, almost a year later than projected last December. But there have been no further delays since June, when the commission learned of the later completion date.
“Right now what we have in the document si to be substantially complete October 10 of next year, so by Halloween time, or the Florida-Georgia game of next year, everything should be in, moved in,” Newman said. “For every opportunity we have to be able to improve upon that, we’re going to improve upon that. It doesn’t do us any good to stay out there longer than we need to.” The building will be constructed with tilt-up concrete panels, which enable swifter construction, structural steel and a single-ply “TPO roof,” or thermoplastic polyolefin, a roofing membrane commonly used in construction nowadays. (See details here.)
The appropriation was part of the commission’s consent agenda at its meting today–the portion of the agenda that the commission approves in bulk, without discussing items individually. County Commissioner Andy Dance, who had flagged the delay the last time an appropriation was before the commission, again flagged the item for discussion today, signaling his intention to keep a close eye on the project. But there were no substantial questions for the contractor, who described a smooth course in the last few months, with the county clearing the 8.4 acres and the site work continuing despite significant rains.
“I know in speaking with other contractors, certain materials are significantly delayed and problematic,” Dance said. “So I just wanted to make sure you work through all that and, and have everything lined up.”
That, in fact, has been the case, Newman said. “As soon as we got the bids in from the other subs, we were able to put them immediately under contract, and as soon as they sign that, that prohibits the ability to escalate and get all those important items flowing,” Newman said.
The contract is based on a guaranteed price, beyond which the contractor may not go. If the substantial completion date of Oct. 10 is not met, the contractor faces a fine of $1,000 a day. “subject to increases in time provided via change order,” the contract states.