Columbia County Approves Final Costs

The cost and construction time have increased for the Columbia County Performing Arts Center, but local leaders consider every penny worth it.

The Columbia County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday approved contract amendments that added $657,389.40 and 177 days to the final year of the arts center project.

“It was a complex building. It is the county’s largest vertical project ever, and it is the crown jewel of the county,” said County Executive Scott Johnson.

The arts center’s final price: $33,431,818.24.

“As someone who has been involved in this project since day one, we were told that he would never, ever approach the amount he received, and for the fact that it is less than 10% of the sum of the original contract, with all the change orders we’ve placed, we’re happy with the product,” Johnson said.

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Change orders – contract changes that modify a contractor’s tasks – are common in construction projects. The characteristics of a building are sometimes added or modified.

Other cost increases are not so common. Direct costs incurred from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, such as material delays and absentee workers, cost the project an additional $93,221.15, according to the county’s list of 83 proposed change orders. .

At the county Public Works and Engineering Services Committee’s last meeting, “it was requested that the change order be debated tonight, just to allow more time to review it,” it said on Tuesday. Deputy County Manager Glenn Kennedy.

Excluding COVID-related expenses, the most expensive change order was $73,731.58 to modify some of the building’s utility configurations to accommodate bar equipment.

“Concessions equipment, for example, was supplied by us,” said Steven Prather, Columbia County Facility Design and Construction Manager. “We did our best from the start to coordinate the equipment with the provisions in the contract. Of course, they didn’t line up exactly, so several changes for that, for plumbing and electrical.”

The smallest expense was $161.25 for the re-inspection of fire alarms that failed the required inspection.

The county opened the arts center in February 2018 and originally expected completion in 2020. Officials cut the ribbon officially opening the center in May 2021.

William E. Bennett