Courthouse Project Seeking Local Contractors

HOLLISTER, Calif. — Four local companies are among the pre-qualified trade contractors who will be considered to coordinate the various jobs associated with construction of the new $30 million San Benito County Courthouse in downtown Hollister.

Acknowledging that there is a “necessity to conform to code and financial requirements,” Gil Solorio, executive officer of the county’s superior court, said the goal is to open opportunities for local firms where possible.

The four firms — Mark Nicholson Inc., Robert F. Enz Construction Inc., San Benito Drywall and R&R Acoustics — will be among the 183 firms considered for different parts of the project, from landscaping to flooring to elevator installation.

The companies selected for each aspect of the construction, whether or not they are local, must make an effort to solicit San Benito County subcontractors to supply materials, labor and equipment.

Specifically, contractors must provide evidence that they directly solicited bids from at least three local businesses qualified to perform the work or supply materials. If no local businesses are qualified, evidence of efforts to solicit local participation must still be provided.

But Solorio emphasized that qualifications and price – not just local ties – will be determining factors in hiring subcontractors.

Local businesses must have their headquarters or a manufacturing facility in San Benito County, or be locally owned or operate within county lines. They must also have been in operation for at least a year and have paid business or property tax in Hollister or San Benito County during the most recent tax year.

While the ceremonial groundbreaking on the courthouse project has already been held, the official start of construction awaits state approval of the sale of bonds to finance the work. That approval is not expected until a state budget is approved.

Any delay in the sale of the bonds would delay the project but not halt it indefinitely, Solorio has said.

Some potential subcontractors have already contacted the pre-qualified trade contractors to offer their services.

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