Courthouse project has additional costs

Andrea Rose news@echo-pilot.com

The costs of the Franklin County court facility improvement project continue to rise but, so far, county officials are confident the project's contingency fund will cover any unexpected expenses.

The latest change comes from a proposal by Dennis E. Black Engineering Inc. of Chambersburg to provide additional services for the subdivision/development projects for the courthouse and annex sites.

The original cost was estimated at $95,000, but commissioners were asked to approve an additional $65,000, bringing the total due to Black at $160,000.

"This is not to exceed $160,000," said Project Engineer John Hart.

Hart said a number of unexpected things have cropped up so far, from new PennDOT regulations that the county must comply with because Main Street is a state road to surprises during demolition such as underground utilities and tanks.

The work is part of the estimated $67 million county court facility improvement project, which includes a new 108,113-square-foot office structure built along North Main Street; minor renovations to the historic "old courthouse"; renovations to the courthouse annex; renovation and expansion of the administrative annex on North Second Street; and the construction of a archive building on North Second Street.

Demolition began in January and the project is expected to take about three years to complete.

Despite the increases, Hart said he doesn't anticipate a major increase in overall project costs.

"We are in good shape with our budget," he said. "I feel confident we are in good shape as for any additional costs."