Courthouse file

The Pottawattamie County Courthouse in Council Bluffs.

Pottawattamie County Supervisors approved a contract modification on Tuesday for renovation of the courthouse that will save taxpayers money.

Supervisors voted unanimously to combine six of the courthouse renovation projects into one project, a move Jason Slack, director of buildings and grounds, said would save an estimated $30,000 in architectural costs that were included in an earlier contract with HGM Associates.

Slack said the change will reduce the payment to HGM Associates to $143,700.

Slack said he anticipates additional savings as the project moves forward as the entire renovation will now be handled by a single general contractor.

“For example, instead of having six dumpsters for six different contractors, we’ll now only have to have one,” he said.

Bids for the first phase of the overall renovation of the courthouse — demolition of the so-called “B Wing,” which housed the Council Bluffs Police Department prior to completion of the new Police Department Headquarters off of Woodbury Avenue — are scheduled to be opened Jan. 16. Acceptance of a bid for the demolition could be acted on by Supervisors at the board’s Jan. 21 meeting.

The multi-million dollar renovation and expansion of the courthouse includes extensive renovation of the courthouse basement, including the current 911 call center; renovation of the B-Wing; and construction of an addition at the northeast corner of the courthouse that will provide additional storage in the basement and first-floor office space for the county Planning and Buildings and Grounds Departments.

The basement of the former police department would be remodeled to provide additional space for the deputies assigned to court ad courthouse security as well as an expanded number of holding cells for prisoners awaiting trial after being transported to the courthouse from the jail.

The first floor of the remodeled B Wing would provide office space for Community Services, now located in the former National Guard Armory across the street from the Courthouse; shared conference rooms; training space and break rooms for first-floor employees; office space for the county’s medical examiner; and office space for Court-Appointed Special Advocate — CASA — director and volunteers.

The second floor of the remodeled Police Department wing would house offices for the county’s IT Department, the county Conservation Department and the Human Resources/Risk Management Department.

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