February 8, 2023


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Augusta community center renovation project hits snag after prices rise


The Henry H. Brigham Center in Augusta was the site for a Richmond County Democratic vote rally in October 2012. Replacement of the community center has hit roadblocks because of rising construction costs.

The Henry H. Brigham Middle in Augusta was the web page for a Richmond County Democratic vote rally in October 2012. Substitute of the local community centre has strike roadblocks mainly because of rising building charges.

Alternative of an Augusta community middle hit an psychological snag Tuesday soon after rising building costs place it two times in excess of price range.

Created in the 1990s, the Henry H. Brigham Centre health club, natatorium, exercise, senior and community centre and park on Golden Camp Highway experienced been a Income Tax 7 undertaking due to the fact the Augusta Commission in 2019 allocated $6 million for it. Given that then, however, the job has been despatched out for bids twice and both equally instances occur in effectively around $6 million.

In December, a bid tabulation showed 4 building companies seeking at least $7.5 million to do the task, in accordance to procurement documents. But the choice was built below former administrator Odie Donald to rebid the challenge, Procurement Director Geri Sams instructed commissioners Tuesday.

Parks and Recreation Director Maurice McDowell mentioned the town expected prices to fall.

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Christine Harrell, left, an intake worker with the CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority, helps a community member file paperwork for energy assistance in November 2011 at the Henry H. Brigham Center in south Augusta. The center was built in the 1990s and is in need of renovations.

Christine Harrell, left, an consumption worker with the CSRA Financial Chance Authority, aids a group member file paperwork for vitality support in November 2011 at the Henry H. Brigham Center in south Augusta. The center was created in the 1990s and is in need to have of renovations.

“Historically when you rebid them you would get a lessen amount. Due to the local weather we are at present in, that hasn’t been legitimate,” McDowell said.

Throughout the U.S., price ranges of construction materials are up by 70% considering that the COVID-19 pandemic started. Inflation, source chain disruptions and labor shortages are leaving a lot of federal government infrastructure jobs unfinished.

Soon after a next procurement, the new reduced bid to rebuild Brigham came in at $8.3 million. McDowell stated added Revenue Tax 7 funds and $1.6 million in American Rescue System money could be made use of to go over the distinction, and Commissioner Francine Scott created a movement to award the $8.3 million position to North Augusta contractor R.D. Brown.

Time was of the essence Tuesday, with the bid’s pricing established to expire July 20, interim Administrator Takiyah Douse reported. The deadline also prevented the city from figuring out other funding sources these types of as bonds, she said.

Quite a few commissioners then experienced issues about the project, which acquired a response from Mayor Pro Tem Bobby Williams, who represents the place.

Commissioner Sean Frantom requested, “Why did this government go back again up for bid and up the charge and there was no scope modify?”

“Could we scale again on a thing that could scale back again the added price?” questioned Commissioner John Clarke.

Williams responded that Augusta has a background of not finishing assignments, these types of as two extra gyms at Diamond Lakes Neighborhood Centre, and that Henry Brigham had been crafted with “unskilled labor.” Augusta has made use of inmate labor to build properties in the past.

“We will need to give the group some thing they can be happy of,” Williams mentioned. “Now we want to give them sub-par?”

Scott’s motion and a reconsideration unsuccessful twice, 5-5, with Mayor Hardie Davis not present to break the tie.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Brigham community center development venture hits snag as charges increase


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