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Centre County commissioners approve Temple Court bid

An artist rendering of the plans for the raised walkway that will connect the Temple Court building with the Centre County Courthouse.
An artist rendering of the plans for the raised walkway that will connect the Temple Court building with the Centre County Courthouse. Rendering provided

The Board of Commissioners on Tuesday awarded the bid for phase two of the Temple Court project after tabling the decision last week.

The $3.1 million bid was granted to Carnegie-based Caliber Contracting Services. Commissioners said they had delayed their decision because they wanted to further investigate the contractor’s references and claims.

“We just wanted to do due diligence,” Vice Chairman Chris Exarchos said.

“I think (Caliber) has a good track record, and we’re looking forward to working with them.”

The annex is slated to house the District Attorney’s Office on the top two floors and the Probation Department on the bottom two floors.

Caliber Vice President Kevin McNulty and Director of Operations Russell Boehm appeared at the meeting. McNulty said he appreciated the opportunity to work on the project and said he thought it would be an excellent addition to the community.

While Caliber is based in western Pennsylvania, he said, the firm has worked throughout the region, from Dayton, Ohio, to Washington, D.C. The company’s closest previous project to Centre County was the Veterans Affairs hospital in Altoona.

According to McNulty, Caliber has estimated an eight-month completion time from the start of construction.

Chairman Steve Dershem said while it’s nice to have a target date, making sure the work gets completed is important.

“This is a historic renovation,” Exarchos said.

“There are a lot of unknowns. This is also a historic building — we have to be sensitive to that.”

The board also approved two change orders for the project, giving the go-ahead for $13,810 for additional architectural drawings on the foundation and work related to new utilities services, and $6,767 for revisions to the office layouts.

The annex plan originally called for retail space on the first floor, Exarchos said, but that space ultimately was needed to house the Probation Department.

“We worked diligently to try to maintain that retail presence in the building,” Dershem said, “but the math wasn’t working out footage-wise for us to be able to do that.”

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