By Lisa Kopochinski
BURGAW, N.C.—The Pender County, N.C., Board of Commissioners recently approved the hiring of Thomas Construction Group as general contractor for the Pender County Courthouse interior restoration.
The pre-bid process was logistically challenging due to COVID-19 precautions. A pre-bid meeting was conducted virtually, as was the bid opening.
“As a contractor working in these unprecedented times, we spent a lot of time contacting and talking with subcontractors and vendors throughout the bid process,” said Jim Hundley, EVP and director of preconstruction for Thomas Construction Group, in a statement.
“Fortunately for Thomas, construction has been considered essential, but for some small firms, business as usual has been difficult.”
In September, 2018, a hurricane in eastern North Carolina caused extensive water damage to the 84-year-old courthouse, which has remained closed.
“The courthouse is a valued county landmark that was damaged during Hurricane Florence,” said Allen Vann, Assistant County Manager and Director of Facilities in a statement.
“Evaluation, reconstruction and renovations have been underway for more than 18 months. Our goal in this construction project is to make this historic building more resilient and preserve it for future generations.”
Located on approximately four acres, the 19,000-square-foot historic structure received exterior repairs from October 2019 through April 2020 in preparation to restore the functionality of this iconic Burgaw, N.C. landmark.
Work is slated to begin in June and will consist of storm damage repairs and renovations, including the relocation and new mechanical and electrical systems; lead/asbestos abatement; ADA improvements; plaster demolition, repair and replacement; custom woodwork; new elevator and shaft; new courtroom seating; and new finishes throughout.
“We have decided to move some of the building’s mechanical structures to protect against future damage,” said Charles Boney, Jr of LS3P, the architecture firm on this project.“This is a marquee project for Pender County. Preserving the integrity of this as a landmark is important to county officials, as well as protecting it from future events.”
A cost for this project has not been disclosed.