Douglas County Commission to consider authorizing $1.5 million contract for chamber renovation in historic courthouse

photo by: Douglas County screenshot

This rendering shows what the renovated meetings chamber at the Douglas County Courthouse could look like once a project to remodel the space is complete.

Douglas County commissioners at their meeting on Wednesday will consider authorizing an approximately $1.5 million bid for a project to remodel the commission’s meeting room in downtown Lawrence’s historic courthouse.

Douglas County will be moving from a three-person commission to a five-person commission beginning Jan. 1, 2025, and the increased size of the commission has led to a need for renovation and restoration work in the meeting room, which is used for multiple functions besides commission meetings, as the Journal-World has reported.

Competitive bidding for the job opened on Jan. 18, and the project selection committee received two bids, according to Wednesday’s meeting agenda. Of those, the “lowest and best bid submitted” came from BA Green Construction Co. Inc. in the amount of $1,449,000.

Staff is asking county commissioners to consider authorizing that construction contract and to approve a total project budget in the amount of $1,543,845.

Architecture firm TreanorHL has been in charge of the project to restore the chamber room to its 1904 configuration.

In other business, commissioners will:

• Consider approval of the 2024 Vegetation Management Plan. The plan covers operations such as roadside mowing, park maintenance, revegetation practices, herbicide use and noxious weed control.

• Consider authorizing a one-time General Fund Reserves grant match of $20,000 for Midco, contingent on the award of a Broadband Acceleration Grant to Midco through the Kansas Office of Broadband Development. Midco’s potential $1.7 million project, toward which the $20,000 matching grant would go, would serve parts of Kanwaka Township and rural Eudora with high-speed broadband.

• Receive an update from Little Government Relations, a government relations and lobbying services firm, regarding the activities of the Kansas Legislature as it reaches the midpoint of its legislative session.

The County Commission meets at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Massachusetts St. Meetings are also available on Zoom.


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