County negotiates with juvenile justice contractor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2001

With the construction of the Adams County Juvenile Justice Center about nine months behind schedule, the supervisors voted Monday to negotiate some changes with the contractor.

The changes involves some duct or chase work in the ceiling of the first floor,&uot; said Greg Boone, who has been the site superintendent for Harold West Contractors since September.

Although the figures are not finalized, Supervisor Darryl Grennell said he believes the county might be reimbursed some of the original contract funds because of the delayed construction – or at least not charged for the changes. Based on the contract, the board is entitled to $200 for each day the project is late – barring such uncontrollable problems such as weather, Grennell said.

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The Adams County Board of Supervisors broke ground on the center in August 1999 after awarding a $2.7 million contract to Harold West Contractors of Laurel.

At the time, the project was estimated to take 14 months to complete. The contractor now expects it to be completed by September. Personnel problems, change in superintendents, discovery of asbestos and the time needed to fill several cisterns found on the property were blamed for slowing down some of the initial work.

The supervisors discussed negotiating the changes in executive session Monday since they are considered taking the matter before the courts.

Adams County Supervisor Sammy Cauthen said no lawsuit is expected but &uot;it could have been a possibility if we couldn’t come to some agreement.&uot;

The particular change being discussed is not a change order but a change directive, said project architect Charles Moroney, adding it means the terms are still in the process of being resolved.

Danny West, president of Harold West Contractors, said the change directive to complete the work was signed this week. West said he could not give an estimate on how much the change directive might cost or how penalty days would factor in the negotiations.

Boone said the contractors have been waiting for approval of the work for some time. The time taken to approve the change directive did not slow down the construction, he said.