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Additional funds requested for Perth County Courthouse reno

The contingency fund for the 5 Huron St. connecting link project is now 83 per cent used and a few change orders are still pending
The Perth County Courthouse is under construction, now expected to be completed in October.

A major project for Perth County should increase its allowance, given unforeseen circumstances and developments.

That is according to a staff report on the 5 Huron renovation and connecting link project. 

The $5-million-and-change project, originally expected to cost $2.1 million, will link 5 Huron St., the former Service Ontario office, to the Perth County Courthouse. It is being undertaken to make the county’s administration campus more efficient for staff and easier for the public to access services. 

In an earlier report, county staff noted that the $200,000 contingency allowance, a fund to cover increases in costs that the contractor does not know in advance, is 70 per cent used and that the final cost of the project will be slightly over that $200,000 fund. 

Most of the change order costs are attributed to unforeseen site conditions, unsuitable soil conditions, deteriorated sanitary and storm pipes, additional asbestos removal, additional under-pinning of the foundation, and the removal of an old foundation and retaining wall.

There have been a few changes that have been made to the scope of the project, such as an EV charging station, additional outlets and data boxes, and layout revisions to improve functionality and security. 

The fund is now 83 per cent used and there are still a few change orders pending. Staff are asking to increase the fund by $150,000.  

The $200,000 represents 4 per cent of the total construction costs and staff said that it is common for projects of this size to see change orders in the neighbourhood of eight to 14 per cent of costs. 

A contingency allowance of $350,000, what they are proposing, represents less than seven per cent of costs. 

“It’s important to note that challenges and changes can arise during the construction phase of a project, requiring adaptability and resourcefulness from all parties involved,” the report stated “Staff have been proactive in addressing these challenges, working closely with our project team to identify solutions that maintain the project's integrity and meet the county’s and community's needs.”

The project is expected to be completed in late October of this year, an approximate three-month delay.