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Hardware needs may stall office complex fixes

East Coast damage from Sandy’s chaos affects supply lines

Friday, November 23, 2012
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A gate was erected at the outset of a $9.1 million post-flood rebuilding project for Schoharie County's office complex on Main Street. (Edward Munger Jr./Gazette reporter)
A gate was erected at the outset of a $9.1 million post-flood rebuilding project for Schoharie County's office complex on Main Street. (Edward Munger Jr./Gazette reporter)

— A shortage of construction equipment due to Hurricane Sandy repair priorities is among several factors expected to slow Schoharie County’s office space rebuilding from Tropical Storm Irene.

Offices including the county clerk, DMV, treasurer and real property were relocated about the county after last year’s massive flooding swamped the village.

Schoharie County Treasurer William Cherry, serving as flood recovery coordinator, said Hurricane Sandy’s destruction on the East Coast is expected to cause a squeeze on plumbing and electrical components. Project designers initially projected a March 31, 2013 completion date for the roughly $10 million reconstruction of the County Office Complex on Main Street in the village of Schoharie.

Major rehabilitation planned for the flooded county office building and adjacent historic County Courthouse requires demolition, then structural reinforcement on interior foundation walls along with a variety of flood mitigation measures. The work was stalled temporarily about two months ago when architects were asked to go back to the drafting table and heighten flood barriers initially drawn roughly 2 feet below Tropical Storm Irene’s flood water level.

Adding to challenges, and the time frame, is the expectation that components like switches and electrical boxes will be needed for the project when these same items are being gathered for hundreds of thousands of structures Hurricane Sandy wiped out.

“Basically, the entire Northeast is going to be needing many of the same things,” Cherry said.

Major construction projects don’t typically establish strict deadlines, he said. “It all depends on exactly when the project starts, exactly how things go during the construction, and I suppose it’s not a big surprise.”

Other parts for the project aren’t easy to come by either: It’s expected to take at least 15 weeks for hurricane resistant windows to be delivered after they’re ordered.

Another factor expected to extend the completion date is a search for old asbestos that will take place before framing and drywall installation can be completed.

Cherry provided a monthly update recently to the county’s Board of Supervisors and requested approval for more than $17,000 in costs that weren’t anticipated. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning components are all being installed on the roof of the office complex and contractors realized the roof itself has to be replaced. That cost won’t be covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the county board approved a total of $17,647 to get it done.

Several elements of the rebuilding are moving along, according to Cherry’s report:

* Demolition nears completion in the county office building, and demolition has started in the County Courthouse and is expected to be finished at the end of this month.

* New boilers and chillers for the HVAC system are being assembled and will be installed next week.

* Framing, electrical, plumbing and HVAC in the Health Department section is continuing and power is expected to be switched over from temporary to permanent at the end of January.

* Design work continues for the Public Safety Facility.

* By Nov. 16, FEMA has provided the county with $6,925,326 in flood recovery money and another $2,308,442 has been provided by New York state.

 
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