KINGMAN – The Mohave County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 Monday to approve the construction contract with Johnson Carlier LLC of Tempe for the new Mohave County Law and Justice Center.
The bidding process was opened in October with an indicated construction cost between $18 million and $19.75 million. However, County supervisors expected the project to cost around $21 million in total.
The contract before the board for consideration was for about $20.9 million. The total funding for the project is about $23.7 million, which includes special inspections, and permit and administration fees, among other considerations.
Funding for the project comes from a quarter-cent sales tax, $450,000 from court fees and $308,221 from sales of Mohave County properties.
The project contingency of 1.78 percent drew concern from Supervisor Buster Johnson, who was the lone dissenting vote. He was curious as to if the contingency would “come back and bite us.”
“It is low, this is a new construction,” explained Steve Latoski, County Public Works director. “What we have found in the past is we have in fact successfully completed projects at relatively low contingency levels.”
Johnson also voiced his concern about the possibility of increased costs for construction materials raising the total project cost. Latoski said those costs would be absorbed by the bidder, Johnson Carlier.
However, Latoski said one factor that could lead to increased project cost would be if in the early phases of the project, unforeseen issues are discovered during subsurface work that the bidder could not have factored into the bid. Though, he noted that is more common with remodels rather than new construction.
The four-story, 66,331 square-foot law and justice center is set to be built next to Kingman’s existing Mohave County Superior Court with an enclosed bridge on the second floor connecting the new building to the existing courthouse.
The first floor is expected to serve public business, with courtrooms and related space on the second and third floors. The fourth floor will house the judge’s chambers and related staff offices.