Bids for Putnam County’s Archives and Veterans Building construction came in much higher than expected.
County Mayor Randy Porter said construction costs have gone up since they originally placed out bids.
“When the tornado destroyed the building last year, we started looking at estimates of what it would cost to replace it,” Porter said. “They were tremendously lower than what they are now. I don’t think anybody could have predicted the building prices could go up so much. ”
Porter said they originally thought the new building would come in around $450,000, but ended up some $718,000. He said they are planning on working with the architects to find cost-cutting options.
Porter said ideally they would rebid to the original bidders, but would probably have to put the bid back out with the new specs. Currently, the plan is to have bids out some time in July to meet FEMA’s September deadline. FEMA issued $300,000 to the project for tornado damage.
“They gave us $300,000 to build back, which is what the estimate was to start with, then of course we added all these other things we wanted to make the building larger and were willing to pay the extra,” Porter said. “And FEMA’s okay with that, but we never dreamed it would come in that high.”
While the original building only housed the Patton House Museum, the county wanted to expand the building to include the veteran’s officers, the archivist, the veteran’s museum in its remodel. Porter said their goal is to build the best possibility the county can afford.