Courthouse work remains on track

County, Midstate using contractual option to resolve payment issue

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Crews from Midstate Contractors install a window at the Logan County Courthouse in late November. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Work continues to renovate the Logan County Courthouse even as rumors swirl of a rift between the county and its design/build contractor, Midstate Contractors Inc.

“There is no lawsuit between us and Midstate,” Logan County Commissioner Dustin Wickersham said Thursday. “Midstate continues to work on the project and we’re trying to iron out the final phase of the project.”

He, along with commissioners John Bayliss and Joe Antram acknowledged Midstate did submit a bill for more than $1 million for costs incurred for project phases in the last year.

Each of those phases was outlined in guaranteed maximum price amendments to an overall contract developed at the start of the now six-year-old project.

The commissioners denied Midstate’s request for payment, saying it should have been covered as part of the GMP amendments.

“Still, there is a process within the contract for Midstate to appeal our decision,” Wickersham explained. “So our lawyers are talking with their lawyers.

“Midstate has to do it to cover their losses. We just hope to negotiate a resolution as part of the next phase,”

Logan County is represented by Squire Patton Boggs, a global full-service law firm that developed the courthouse contract between Midstate and the county.

The firm has a lengthy history of providing contractural legal services for the county. It is also the firm former Commissioner Tony Core joined after he resigned his seat earlier this year. Core is not assigned to the division handling the dispute resolution.

Renovation of the 147-year-old structure came about after a June 29, 2012, derecho packing 70-mph winds nearly toppled the tower atop the courthouse.

With the courthouse empty, the commissioners took the opportunity to modernize the facility and undo a patchwork of disjointed renovations.

Their stated goal was to restore important architecture features while incorporating more efficient mechanical systems to create a building that would serve the community for the next 150 years.

Read complete story ALONG WITH A PROJECT COST BREAKDOWN in Friday's Examiner
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