Contracts approved, EOC work beginning this month

Work is expected to begin this month on Washington County’s new Emergency Operations Center at the Children Services facility on Davis Avenue in Marietta after the county commissioners approved contractors for the project Tuesday.

Project architect David Haught said he had reviewed the apparent low bidders and recommended Phoenix Associates, Inc. of Parkersburg as the general contractor; Carver’s Plumbing of Marietta for the plumbing contract; Tropic Air of Marietta for the HVAC contract; Axis Electric of Marietta as the electrical contractor; and Brewer & Company of Charleston, W.Va., for the sprinkler system relocation contract.

“The total cost, which came in below our original estimate, is $371,307,” Haught said.

He said the initial architect’s estimate was $434,900.

Haught said the total did not include approximately $20,000 worth of alternate work that could be performed by the general contractor.

“There has been some discussion of possible changes in the alternates, so I don’t think we’ll include that in the contract for now,” said Commissioner Tim Irvine.

The architect’s recommendation to award the bids received unanimous support from all three commissioners.

“I will be meeting with Phoenix, who have already checked with their suppliers, and work can begin as soon as the week of the 15th, and definitely by the week of the 22nd (of April),” Haught said, adding that the renovation project should be substantially completed in June.

The project is being partially funded by federal dollars through an Emergency Management Performance Grant, according to Jeff Lauer, director of the Washington County Emergency Management Agency.

“The grant will pay 50 percent of the cost, up to $237,500, through the Ohio Emergency Management Agency,” he said. “The rest is being covered by the county commissioners.”

The EOC will be located on the ground floor of the Children Services facility and will include the county emergency management agency offices and related operations. The project also includes a generator backup system so that communications and other operations can be maintained in the event of a power outage due to an event like the derecho wind storm that struck the area on June 29.

“In fact, part of the requirements to receive this grant was that we had to purchase a generator capable of running for at least four days with an on-site fuel supply,” Irvine said.

Lauer said the generator will be fueled with propane.

“We’ll also be using the EOC for training and other types of meetings-it will be a multi-purpose facility,” he added.

Eric Skomra, IT director for the county, noted that the Washington County Board of Elections offices would also be moving into the Davis Avenue building in conjunction with the EOC project.

“And in the event of a major disaster, if we need to relocate any county office to another location, we can do so (at the Davis Avenue facility),” he said.