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Village Amends Contract for Village Hall Renovation

Change orders for plumbing, sewer and roof issues have bumped project cost from $1.75 million to $2.2 million.

The village board this week amended an agreement with Wight Construction Inc. for the Village Hall renovation project, increasing the total contract amount to $2.2 million.

According to Village Administrator Ben Wehmeier, the amended agreement updates the original contract, incorporating change orders made necessary by plumbing, sewer and roofing issues that came up as work progressed on Lemont Village Hall at 418 Main St.

The renovations, which include improvements to the village hall's lobby, roof, windows, exterior doors, bathrooms and conference rooms, were initially projected to cost approximately $1.75 million.

Since mid-summer, temporary village offices have been housed at the former Central School on McCarthy Road. Although village staff had hoped to move back into Village Hall in late November, work on the nearly 120-year-old structure has held its share of unexpected setbacks – moving the likely completion date to late December or early January, according to Wehmeier.

In September, a plumbing contractor discovered a severely damaged underground clay tile and improperly capped and leaking sewer and water lines – some buried under solid rock.

And just last week, while workers were preparing to build rooftop platforms to house the building’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units, they discovered the roof itself was unstable.

“I went up there myself, and the roof was actually starting to bow,” said Village Administrator Ben Wehmeier. “It was almost like a trampoline. We had to shore it up.”

Wehmeier said that once roof repairs are completed, workers will build a deck-like platform upon which the HVAC units will sit. He explained the platform is required to meet safety codes by providing a flat environment in which workers can safely make repairs or perform routine maintenance on the rooftop units.

But according to Wehmeier, now that the bulk of the exterior work has been largely completed, the building’s interior space is starting to take shape as well.

“Workers are finishing up the drywalling and painting and doing some tile work upstairs,” Wehmeier said. “We are hoping to complete the work around the 21st of December.”  

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moe November 28, 2012 at 01:30 PM
What kind of inspection was done by contractors and village inspectors before opening bidding on this work? Where was the planning? Like the roof no one went up there to inspect yet all these extra problems and cost.Way to much money going into this project.
Edward Andrysiak November 28, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Moe...rework or remodel is a curse on cost containment. In my 77 years I have learned that getting it right the first time goes a long way for coming in at budget. But, this building was put up years ago and "patched" along for a long time. To be fair...there is no way one can anticipate all the different problems you will run into when you "open things up." I would guess the initial decision was to tear down and build brand new vs remodel/refurbish the "old girl" we had. If you care about a historic building steeped in the history of Lemont you would have called for the remodel. Building new may have cost considertably more! The real issue is that the added costs is justified and, I am sure the Board is watching that very closely.
Ginger1397 November 28, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Exactly, if you remember the earlier article of July 19, 2012 breaking down what each service was costing, you will see that Wight is the village contractor. Does Lemont ever get bids from different contractors are do we just continue using Wight? I know for a fact they were the contractors on the Lemont Community Center on Alba. I did not see one contractor from Lemont. Wouldn't be nice to give business to one of our own Village businesses? I think that should be number #1, after all it is hard enough to keep a business going in Lemont. Lastly, I have included excerpts from the July article. It is evident that Lemont, like other governments, has difficulty being transparant. The numbers do not add up and using the same contractor for every job is the number one problem. From July, 2012 Lemont Patch: "Although a recent assessment showed no major issues with plumbing, HVAC, roofing or overall structure, deferred maintenance could cost the village hundreds of thousands of dollars in the next three to five years, village officials said." Below is the whole article: http://lemont.patch.com/articles/renovations-set-to-begin-on-lemont-village-hall
jack November 28, 2012 at 11:09 PM
As rule a structural engineer is supposed to sign off on work like this BEFORE. If I brought in a set of prints to add a deck to my roof at home, I would have been required to have an engineer OK that the roof would carry the additional structure load. Why wasnt this done initially??
moe December 01, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Jack I feel you are correct it's foolish on the village part . Anyone know how many contractors did bid on this job?
Kerry December 02, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Ginger, I agree that it would be great to use Lemont contractors. Did you know that by law a public entity has to go with the lowest responsible bid?
Kerry December 02, 2012 at 12:34 AM
Ginger ,from what i know of Wight, they have been around a long time and have alot of experience in building public buildings. They are used for management of construction projects.
Edward Andrysiak December 06, 2012 at 05:01 PM
I'm 77 years old and remember Wight back to my teen age years. They were on Odgen in Downers Grove. When on the school Board I used them for a project and found them to be very good. As for locals getting the work...these jobs are up for bid. If they do not bid you can't fault the Village Board for not hiring them. As for cost overrides...you can count on it when you overhaul an old building like this one. I give the Village Board credit for taking on the remodel. They had to know it would create a lot of questions and flack. It was that or tear down and build new. I'm not a supported of big government or too much little government but, you need to be fair here. I doubt there is any "under the table" money as some of you suspect. Wight is a good clean operator. This is that the job costs! Were all costs predictable? No.

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