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County tabs Midstate to rebuild courthouse tower

The firm that tore down the Logan County Courthouse’s wind-damaged clock tower has been selected to rebuild it, the commissioners announced Thursday.

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Midstate Contractors Inc. crews removed the top portion of the Logan County Courthouse clock tower on Oct. 16. The same firm will be responsible for rebuilding the 70-foot tower. (EXAMINER FILE PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST)

Midstate Contractors Inc. now has the task of developing a plan to accurately rebuild the 70-foot tower while satisfying the insurance coverage concerns.

At this stage of the design/build process, the cost of the project and when it will be done have not been determined.

The commissioners also want Midstate to provide estimates on other restoration work to the exterior, water-damaged trusses under the courthouse roof, heating ventilation and air condition options and new windows that are more energy efficient and are restored to the full height.

“One of the benefits of the design build is you can explore such options and get an idea of the costs,” Commissioner Tony Core said. “Then you know how far you can go.

“The design/build process for public entities is fairly new under Ohio law,” he said. “It takes a little more time on the front end with the selection of the firm and the design, but should ultimately result in a better, smoother and less expensive project overall.”

Typical public entities seek bids from contractors for a project and then award the bid to the lowest and best bidder.

The contractor then hires subcontractors.

Restoration work is different in that there are a limited number of contractors qualified to do the work, so the commissioners decided to use the design/build process to refine the selection process.

They pointed out they and their architectural representatives will be dealing directly with Midstate which should provide better communication throughout.

Commissioner Dustin Wickersham said the county already has a good relationship with Midstate.

“We were very pleased with Midstate’s performance and attention to detail in that ‘deconstruction’ phase,” he said. “The fact that the company’s owners were on site every day during the dismantling was very impressive. Midstate also has extensive experience on courthouse projects.”

Midstate’s pricing proposal was the lowest of the proposals received. The commissioners are now negotiating the design/build agreement with Midstate Contractors.  

“We don’t anticipate problems finalizing that agreement, because we sent out a draft of the agreement and asked for comments and concerns as part of the proposal process,” Mr. Core said.

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