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Relocations move ahead / February 06, 2014

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors on Monday night approved several agreements to fund the relocation of several departments during the coming courthouse renovation project.

The first of these agreements was one with Dewberry Engineers, Inc. of Danville for $81,170. Dewberry will provide architectural and engineering services to renovate the back portion of the STEM Center in Halifax (the old Craddock Terry building). That is where the school’s Alternative Education program is scheduled to be moved from its current location in the Industrial Arts building at the Mary Bethune Complex.

The second agreement is with CJMW Architecture for $189,000 to provide architectural, engineering and interior design services for the renovation of the Industrial Arts building which is slated to serve as a temporary location for the courts while work is carried out on the courthouse. When the courthouse is completed, the Industrial Arts building will be the permanent home for the county administration.

The third agreement is with B&B Consultants of South Boston to move ahead with the completion of the design plans for the county administrative building which will house the Halifax County Sheriff’s Department. Included in that agreement is authorization for B&B to proceed with the advertisement of bids in March for the work, to include the construction of a new 4,000 square foot operations building.

The Board’s fourth agreement was approved with Davenport Company of Richmond to serve as the County’s financial advisor at a cost not to exceed $45,000. The company recommend a plan to determine the most cost effective way to fund the numerous projects (Courthouse, Industrial Arts building and the Sheriff’s Department building).

Finally the Board also approved a resolution expressing its intent to reimburse the County’s general fund from which expenses for all the renovations and expansions are currently being paid with proceeds from the borrowing of money for the projects. The total reimbursement of expenses was increased from the original $2 million which was set last year to $2.7 million.

One piece of good news from the Finance Committee which had met earlier on Monday afternoon was that the County had received $833,000 in interest forgiveness on the school’s $5 million debt service. The interest forgiveness funds were distributed statewide to those schools which had earlier borrowed money for school construction from the Virginia Public Service Authority after the receipt of lower construction bids last August.

The interest forgiveness funding nearly matches the estimated cost of the $833,750 in renovations to the STEM Center.

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