MIAMI COUNTY — Miami County is moving forward with a project to redesign the courthouse plaza.
The Miami County Commissioners voted Tuesday to award a contract for design services to Garmann Miller Architects. The board authorized contract negotiations with the company in January.
The project would redesign the plaza area between the courthouse and the Safety Building that dates back to the 1970s, addressing concerns including the uneven walkway, issues with fountain drainage, as well as the lighting in the plaza.
“Basically you’re hiring Garmann Miller to do all the preliminary studies of the plaza, the utilities, the tunnels, everything around the courthouse. And then out of that, they’ll present you with three concepts as to how they could modify the paver problem, the fountain drainage, all that stuff,” Director of Operations and Facilities Chris Johnson said.
The commissioners could then choose a concept and the company would create construction documents. Once the preliminary studies are done, the company could also give the county an estimate on the project cost, Johnson said.
“Once you pick it, then you can start modifying that concept the way that you like it,” Johnson said.
The cost of the contract will be $80,000 for the study and schematic design phase, $40,000 for the design development phase, and $10,000 for reimbursable expenses. The contract also includes an 8.5 percent of construction cost fee for the development of construction documents.
According to Johnson, there are suspected holes in the fountain drain lines that are causing some pavers to sink. There are also tunnels under the plaza that are in uncertain condition.
“There is so much underground that you just don’t see,” he said.
Commissioner John “Bud” O’Brien pointed out that this does not lock the county into actually bidding the construction of the project. Commissioner Jack Evans said that the plaza is a “real trip and fall hazard.”
“I think it’s a smart move to move forward,” he said.
In other business, the commissioners heard the county engineer’s annual report. County Engineer Paul Huelskamp informed the commission that the county exceeded last year’s paving program by about two miles, paving more than 24.5 miles of county roadway at a cost of $1.64 million. That total includes 19.7 miles that were last paved between 1992-1997.
The Miami County Engineer’s Office and Highway Garage will host its annual road meeting on April 5. Speakers from the Ohio Department of Transportation will also provide updates on upcoming road work, in addition to a report from the county engineer.
The commissioners also accepted a quote to replace the 45-year-old water meter at the Safety Building. The current system includes three separate meters, which have all begun to leak. Wagner Plumbing and Heating will simplify the system with a single meter at a cost of $15,890.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org