Justice Center taking shape, on schedule

From left, Clay County Supervisors Lynn Horton and Joe Chandler and architect Roger Pryor talk about progress on the county's new Justice Center during Tuesday's briefing.
Staff Writer

Two months in to construction, the new Clay County Justice Center is either two weeks ahead of schedule or a week behind, depending on which schedule is being followed.
And that's the way it's meant to be, Clay County leaders were told during a monthly update on them project.

Benchmark Construction's Senior Project Manager Chris Deupree said the contractor had developed an early schedule that would be an incentive for subcontractors to try to stay on time.

But in reality, work in some phases is as much as two weeks ahead.

And if all goes well, by the middle of August, things "really will be taking shape," on the county's $3 million lease purchase of the 20,000-square-foot former Jitney Jungle/Pass It On building on Main Street in West Point.

The building is being renovated into three courtrooms, offices and meeting rooms and other spaces for Circuit and Justice courts.

Chancery Court and the Tax Assessor will remain in the existing 61-year-old Courthouse in downtown.
Crews will begin pouring concrete in the building today and then Triangle Drywall will start framing in the spaces.

That should take about a month.
At the same time, Brislin Inc. will be working on heating and air systems and Starkville-based Doss Electric will be doing electrical work, especially in the ceiling areas.

Graham Roofing has finished putting on a new roof that is meant to make the building more energy efficient.

For one, the roof is white, which will reflect the sun's heat. It also includes 3.5 inches of high performance insulation.

"We're ahead of schedules and with zero change orders. We can't really have any change orders," architect Roger Pryor, of Pryor and Morrow, told the group, which included Supervisors Lynn Horton and Joe Chandler. "Because of the way this project is done, any change orders will have to come out of someone's pockets."

One such possible change order has arisen Morrow said, noting that in February, Synergetics provided a quote for fiberoptics for the building without getting a formal survey of the site.

The company has come back with a more definitive cost that is $11,000 more than what is budgeted.
Horton said the county will negotiate with Synergetics on the add-on. Most of the fiber optics work is on the outside of the building so any changes won't delay the project.
The timetable has the building finished by the end of March 2019.