Public Works overhaul on track for late-June finish

By Chris Berendt

May 2, 2014

Sweeping renovations that are changing the face of the City of Clinton Public Works headquarters on John Street, acting to expand the structure and extend the facility’s lifespan for another several decades, are on track for a late June completion.

Despite the inclement weather of late January and into February, the project is still on its six-month timeline, Clinton Public Works and Utilities director Jeff Vreugdenhil stated.

“It looks pretty good,” Vreugdenhil remarked. “I think it’s on schedule and we fully expect it to be completed by the end of June. We’re very pleased so far.”

The renovation and expansion project began in earnest in early January as part of a half-million dollar renovation project, with all services being housed in temporary offices just across the street on adjacent Ferrell Street. The current facility on John Street is over 40 years old and was said to be in need of maintenance, repairs and updating, including the roof — the project, approved late last year, will extend the facility’s life by another 30 or 40 years.

In November, the City Council approved a proposal of $561,500 from Jackson Builders of Goldsboro to do the work. Considered for the last several years, $500,000 was budgeted for the current (2013-14) budget for those upgrades. With a small percentage of contingency funds added to the base amount, the cost would hover around $580,000.

Specifically, the Public Works facility renovations will see the expansion of the break room and restroom facilities and a re-design of the space in existing offices to accommodate three offices and a receiving area. The project is expected to accommodate the office and break room needs for the next several decades, as current employee numbers are within 10 percent of what they were in 1990.

“It will be a significant addition,” said Vreugdenhil. The last addition to the Public Works complex was in 1972.

“It’s 4,500 feet of either addition or renovation,” city manager Shawn Purvis has said. “We’re talking 30 years of extension on the life of this building.”

Brick veneer on 75 linear feet of wall, versus metal siding, is also included in the project, as well as the addition of painting the attached garage portion, which Vreugdenhil said is “significant in size.” The renovations will expand the area parallel to Vreugdenhil’s office near the entrance of the building, which is essentially in a breezeway, where visitors have to step outside to go into the other part of the building that includes the cafeteria and a small reception area. The receptionist area would be expanded, allowing for a new visitor’s lounge and a bigger lunchroom.

Expanding the break room and restroom facilities is also expected to better accommodate employees and present a more sanitary environment, where there is enough room to wash up in the restroom rather than utilizing common areas.

The proposal includes new roofing — “a complete roof overhaul,” the Public Works director noted — for the entire facility, excluding the garage portion.

“We’re having some furniture installed outside the contract with Jackson Builders,” Vreugdenhil remarked this week. “I believe it’s set to be finished by the end of June as part of the contract timeline. Basically, the electrical, plumbing and the roof are finished and the new foundation has been poured. The sidewalks are finished. They’re starting on sheet rock and they’re finishing the outside facade.”

Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext 121. Follow us on twitter @SampsonInd.