By Lisa Kopochinski
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C.—Following several years of planning, Brunswick County recently awarded a nearly $11 million construction contract to Montieth Construction Corporation to expand and renovate its existing courthouse in Bolivia, N.C.
With construction expected to take two years, plans for the first phase include constructing a new three-story 15,000 square foot building on the north end of the existing courthouse. During the second phase in 2021, crews will renovate the current 102,450 square foot courthouse. The project also includes exterior upgrades on the south-facing wall, a new exit turnstile to meet security needs, and a new HVAC control system.
According to a 2017 space needs assessment study, new and renovated space is required to meet crowded, peak courthouse conditions. The study found the courthouse was approximately 6,000 square feet short of meeting all essential courthouse functions and programs.
In early 2018, the county hired the architectural firm Sawyer Sherwood & Associate Architecture for $975,800 to provide design and construction oversight services throughout the planned four-and-a-half-year project.
Last year, work on the courthouse parking lot was completed. Although the parking lot was designed and permitted in 2010, work stalled on the project before the county reopened it in 2018. The county awarded Ellixson & Sons a total $747,000 in May 2019. And last September, an additional $138,687 change order was approved due to unsuitable soils on the site.
Including the new parking lot, design and construction costs for the new and renovated buildings, recent courthouse upgrades total at least $12.8 million.