PRINCETON — The Bureau County Courthouse and county jail will get some long-awaited upgrades in the coming weeks.
At this week’s meeting of the Bureau County Board, Buildings and Grounds Committee Chairman Kristi Warren presented a proposal from KJWW consultants for design and engineering work for an extensive electrical upgrade at the courthouse. KJWW will also handle the bidding process and then oversee the project once a contract is approved. The county board approved the $22,000 KJWW proposal as presented. Bids are to be opened April 4, with a tentative contract award at the county board’s April 10 meeting.
On Wednesday, Warren said the electrical upgrade will be done throughout the building and is “desperately needed” because of the increased use of computers and technology at the courthouse.
The courthouse project will also include the replacement of the east and west main exterior entrance doors, as well as the glass sections above the doors. Key Builders of Princeton is handling that project for the county. If funds permit, the county also hopes to replace the interior courthouse doors on the west end of the courthouse, Warren added.
The cost of the courthouse project is being covered through a $250,000 grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.
Also at Tuesday’s county board meeting, Warren gave an update on upcoming projects for the county jail, primarily an upgrade in the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. The project will include the installation of seven new furnaces, seven air conditioners, and the cleaning and sealing of duct work.
The county board did approve a recommendation from contractor Elmore Electric to add seven exhaust fans to the project, at an additional cost of $11,671. The cost of the total HVAC upgrade project will be $149,618 and will be paid from the existing capital jail fund, Warren said.
Warren said the seven new furnaces will replace the existing single large unit. The seven smaller units will be placed in different zones, or areas, of the jail building. The new HVAC will be so much more energy efficient and will also provide for better climate control and air flow throughout the building, she said.
As far as other future projects at the jail, Warren said the county would also like to install an intercom system, as recommended by he Illinois Department of Corrections.
One project that is not being considered at this time is building a new jail, Warren said. With the economy as it is, the focus has been on doing upgrades and repairs at the jail, rather than on new building projects.
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