Town, county have bid to fix center’s HVAC

Posted: November 30, 2012

The Winchester Star

BERRYVILLE — The town and Clarke County have agreed to hire Blaugh Brothers Inc. of Harrisonburg to repair the faulty heating, ventilation and air conditioning system in the Joint Government Center.

Blaugh ($387,555) was the lowest of three bidders on the project.

There have been issues with the HVAC system regulating temperature and humidity in the three-winged, $7 million building — which houses Berryville and Clarke County government offices and the Clarke branch of Handley Regional Library — since it opened in 2008.

The town and county are still in arbitration with architect Baughan and Baukhages of Luray over the problems and the cost of correcting them.

County Administrator David Ash said the humidity issue has caused malfunctions in a variety of office equipment in the building, such as computers and printers.

Town Manager Keith Dalton said the temperature in the town treasurer’s office sometimes reaches only 50 degrees when the thermostat is set on 72.

The Clarke Board of Supervisors voted to accept Blaugh’s bid last week, while the Berryville Town Council did so at a special meeting on Wednesday.

Dalton said the two bodies agreed to substitute electrical variable air volume units, which control individual spaces, reducing the cost of the base bid by $87,860.

These units will be both cheaper and less disruptive to install, because it will be less complicated to thread electrical wires through an already finished space than put in new piping.

“That’s a big thing for an existing system,” Dalton said.

Ash said the county’s engineers believe the repairs are the best way to fix the problems.

With the deduction, contingency fees and inspection costs, Dalton said the total contract will come to $388,172, with the town paying $144,788.16 and the county $243,383.84.

“The county will be the fiscal agent,” Dalton said.

Ash said the repair work should begin after the first of the year. Dalton said it should take about four to five months to complete.

— Contact Val Van Meter at vvanmeter@winchesterstar.com