Lincoln County accepts courthouse HVAC project bid for $1.9 million

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, February 27, 2024

BROOKHAVEN — Lincoln County Board of Supervisors accepted a bid of $1.9 million from Paul Jackson and Sons to complete HVAC system work at the courthouse Tuesday. County engineer Ryan Holmes explained it was the lowest bid at the county docket meeting. 

Paul Jackson and Sons is a local company and will use Brookhaven Electric and Smith Heating and Cooling as their subcontractors. Holmes said the $1,975,000 bid came in below the base bid estimate of $2,046,000. Built into the bid was $75,000 for contingency with unknowns in the work and $100,000 for temporary air. Paul Jackson and Sons will have a contractor warranty for a year as required by state law. 

In addition to the base bid, Holmes suggested the supervisors consider alternates 1 and 2 to replace the boiler and two chillers before their lifespans come to an end. The base bid would replace the interior system as the HVAC problems have not been with the boiler or chiller. Holmes explained the chillers and boiler work in tandem to cool the courthouse. 

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“We bring cold water in pipes all through the courthouse. You take cold and hot water to get the system to work,” Holmes said. “It is much different than cooling your home. Water is used to heat and cool this building. In a year or two and one of the equipment fails everyone will know we didn’t replace it.” 

If Lincoln County is unable to replace the boiler or chiller the system would still work perfectly with the base bid for now. Lincoln County Administrator Daniel Calcote said most of the problems have been with the moving parts upstairs. Budget wise, the alternates would bump the projected cost up to $2.6 million. 

“I’m not willing to take a shortcut on any of this. We need to do it right,” District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey said. 

Project timeline

Equipment lead time has been around 50 weeks during COVID but it has dropped considerably, Holmes said. Chiller lead times are still 30 weeks. Holmes said if the chiller or boiler went out it would be extremely uncomfortable for a portion of the year. 

Calcote said the main thing is they want to work around the courts and they want to get the project done in the fall when cooler temperatures are here. He added any big trials could meet at another courthouse in the district. 

Holmes said he was not fully sure when the work would start. He did explain how the project would work. 

Contractors will start by cutting a 60 inch by 60 inch hole in the roof and lift disassembled HVAC equipment parts by a crane. 

The 60 by 60 inch hole was selected to allow the biggest piece of new equipment to fit. Holmes said the roof will be done by a certified roofer to keep the warranty. 

Special fund

Calcote said he set aside a special project fund with additional state aid money to cover the base bid. His main concern was the bid would be over budget but it was under. Calcote said if they want to take care of the alternates of replacing the boiler and chillers they may need to move things around. 

“I would be comfortable with moving forward for the base bid and a few years down the road with the chillers and boiler we could make plans from there,” Calcote said. “Maybe we could use money from the state. They gave us $750,000 plus some for the project already.” 

District 3 Supervisor John David Hart told Calcote, “Thank you for rat holding funds.” Falvey said it was smart thinking of Calcote to set the money aside. 

“It all goes back to planning and handling business. Hopefully, we will get more money from the state,” he said. “

Holmes suggested they accept the bid from Paul Jackson and Son and see how the project fleshes out to see if money is left over for the alternates. 

District 4 Supervisor Eli Ferguson asked if Brookhaven would help pay for 20 percent of the project since they share the building with Lincoln County. Board Attorney Greg Malta was not present to answer the question.