Momentum growing on new Routt County building project with bulk of steel now in place |

Momentum growing on new Routt County building project with bulk of steel now in place

Project on track for county employees to move in to the building in March 2023

Routt County's new Health and Human Services building now has most of the structural steel in place, as seen here on Monday, June 6, 2022.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

The bulk of the structural steel for Routt County’s new Health and Human Services building is in place as the project is still projected to be on time and on budget.

“I think we’re getting good momentum on the job,” said Quentin Rockwell, a project manager for Centennial-based Wember Inc., which is serving as the county’s owners representative on the project. “It’s time to really get a lot of work done. I think we’re really picking up pace.”

Rockwell said there are still risks to the project budget and timeline like late spring weather and continued supply chain issues globally, but the project is still slated to be ready for county employees to move in on March 1, 2023.

Despite the cost of the building significantly increasing between planning and getting a deal for the building in place, Rockwell said the building’s $14.1 million budget still has about 7% of a contingency left.

“We’ve passed some pretty significant milestones,” Rockwell said. “An average of 6% to 7% is an average amount for this stage of the project given what we have ahead of us.”

That contingency — totaling about $785,000 between owner and contractor contingencies — has remained relatively flat since an update given last month, Rockwell said.

One slight boon to the project’s budget was discovering that a section of conduit that runs from county buildings across the street to the site is still in tact. The old fiber cable that ran to the former Human Services Building was stuck in the conduit, which could have meant it had collapsed under the road. Last week, crews discovered the conduit is in good shape.

The cost of furniture for the new building is looking to be more than originally budgeted by about $30,000. Still, county Purchasing Director Julie Kennedy, who will present the furniture contract to commissioners for approval on Tuesday, June 7, said prices were expected to jump another 20% by July 1.

Work in the alley to connect the sewer line caused damage to Old Town Pub’s sewer line as well, which resulted in the restaurant having to close for about a day. Still, Kennedy said they reacted quickly and Calcon Constructors, the general contractor on the project, will pay out damage costs including lost wages for employees.

While contracts are still being figured out for a few materials, county Facilities Manager Steve Faulkner said most of the pricing is set at this point and most of the major decisions on the project have been made.

Rockwell said the project will likely continue to deal with supply issues through completion. Faulkner said one of those may be getting concrete for the second floor, as local supply has been limited after a fire at Peak Ready Mix concrete plant in Steamboat in January.

“We’re moving as fast as we can and as efficiently as we can toward drying the building,” Rockwell said, referring to enclosing the structure before colder weather returns. “There’s going to be a lot of work over there in the next month.”

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