KINGMAN - Despite numerous changes, both the new County Development Services Building on Kino Avenue and the renovations to the Negus Building on Beale Street are on schedule and on budget for completion.
"They're coming along very well. I'm really pleased with the progress," said Mike Hendrix, deputy county manager of Development Services.
The county began work on the two buildings last year. Work is progressing ahead of schedule on the renovation of the Negus Building for the County Probation Department, said Steve Latoski, director of Mohave County Public Works.
Originally, the project was expected to be finished in February, but it now looks as if it will be complete in January and will also be under budget, he said.
The $2 million renovation gutted and redesigned the old building and repaired the roof.
"It's coming along well," Chief Probation Officer Friend Walker said.
There have been some unforeseen circumstances that have required the Board of Supervisors to approve changes to the design, repairs to electrical and plumbing and additional asbestos abatement, Latoski said.
The county and the contractor, Summit Builders, estimated the amount of renovation work needed on the building according to the original plans for the building, Latoski said.
The county was originally going to encapsulate whatever asbestos was found in the building, but as work progressed, more and more of the hazardous material was found hidden in walls and in floor tiles covered over by carpeting, Walker said.
The county also found that much of the electrical work and plumbing in the building needed to be replaced or brought up to code, Latoski said.
"It was built in the 1960s. A lot of those things have reached the end of their service life or are not in compliance with current building codes," he said.
Despite the changes, the project is still under budget. Like the contract for the new Development Services Building, the contract for the Negus Building had a contingency fund for additional asbestos abatement and design changes, Latoski said. The county has even been able to put in some additional security features the Probation Department requested, such as additional cameras, Walker said. "I've been very pleased with the support we've gotten from the county," he said.
The department is currently housed in a building near the corner of Beale and Fifth streets in downtown Kingman. The building is much too small for the department, Walker said. Everyone shares office space, and there is no place for a probation officer to hold a private interview with someone on parole, he said.
The new building should take care of some of these issues, he said. The windows on the front of the Negus Building are being removed so that someone cannot look into the building, the first floor of the building will have private interview rooms for probationers and their officers, and there will be separate entrances for juvenile and adult probationers, Walker said. It will also have security cameras inside and out and a security system that will require all employees to carry special cards in order to enter a room, he said.
Probationers entering the building will have to pick up a phone in the lobby to contact their probation officer and then have to wait in the lobby for their officer to buzz them into the building, Walker said.
Parking will be tight at the new building, he said, but the city has granted the department permission to enclose part of a street that runs behind the building with chainlink fence and provide secure parking for employees.
"I'm really excited about moving in," Walker said.
The new two-story Development Services Building will be 36,000 square feet, have 100 offices and house the County's Planning and Zoning, Economic Development, Flood Control, Building, Emergency Services and Environmental Health offices. It is expected to cost about $5 million and be completed by February.
Currently, all of those departments share one building, the Hardy Building off of Route 66, with the County Public Works Department.
The idea is to create a one-stop location for the public and developers to go to for their building and zoning needs, Latoski said. The new building will provide space for additional staff as the county grows, has improved work areas for current staff and more comfortable areas for the public, all of which are designed to help with the flow of information from one department to the next, he said.