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Government Center repair work set to begin

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St. Croix County officials are ready to take bids on three Government Center repair projects and expect work will begin in mid-April.

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The projects include replacing the building's heating and cooling system, replacing large sections of roof and repairing exterior walls.

Although actual costs won't be known until bids are taken, the estimated price on the projects is over $3 million. Most of that money was raised by bonds sold last October. Because work involves the installation of energy-efficient materials and equipment, Wisconsin's Focus on Energy will pay the county $25,800 in incentive money.

Facilities Manager Art Tobin and consultants told the Finance Committee last week that the specifications and drawings are done and the county is ready to advertise for bids.

"Everybody will be inconvenienced," said Finance Committee Chairman Daryl Standafer, referring to the effect the work is expected to have on county employees and people using county services. He said all concerns will be heard, but asked that people bring their complaints to him, Tobin or other members of the Finance Committee and not to the contractors.

Tobin said there will be daily onsite inspections of the wall and roof work to make sure work is being done as it should be. Heating and air conditioning work will be inspected once or twice a week.

"I don't think noise is going to be a huge issue," said Kurt Reed of Roof Spec Inc., St. Paul. His company is the consultant for roof repair work.

That will involve removing gravel ballast and rubber and applying a new single-ply membrane that is more energy efficient.

Reed said daytime traffic over the courtrooms will be limited, noisier work will be done early in the morning, and the necessary core drillings will be done on weekends.

Part of the parking lot will be used for a staging area. Reed said that most noise will come from a crane in the parking lot and some footsteps on the roof.

Roof work is expected to be done by mid-June.

Construction on the cooling plant is expected to start May 1, said Jay Constable of Karges-Faulconbridge Inc. Work on the heating plant will begin about Aug. 15 and work on the generator will begin about Sept. 15.

Constable said two boilers have already been bought and the chiller and pumps will be purchased ahead of time so that they will be onsite by May 1.

He said noise will be minimal, and although there will be some welding, that area will be ventilated to control odors.

The project includes replacing interior ventilator shafts, which involves tearing down some interior walls, said Constable. He said the saw cutting would be done on the weekend.

"I'm not going to hide the fact: It's going to be loud," said Joel Baresh of Roof Spec, speaking of the exterior wall work. "Basically the masonry has to come out."

The project involves removing bricks to replace damaged through-wall flashing and repairing joint sealant.

Work above the canopy at the building's main public entrance will be done on weekends. Other areas that will be repaired this year include the west façade of the east wing and the south façade of the north wing.

Baresh said windows and intake vents will be taped to prevent dust from entering the building. Wet sawing and vacuums will be used to minimize dust.

Still, he said, there will be dust and noise.

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