New courthouse project delayed again


The Delaware County Board of Commissioners approved the 11th change order for the new courthouse on Sandusky Street during its meeting Thursday.

The order amounted to a cost of $44,673.26, bringing current construction price tag to $39,209,029.87, or nearly $184,500 short of the project’s guaranteed maximum price.

But Jeff Benton, president of the county commission, had only one question about the project.

“Timeline? I got to ask,” he said.

The project’s original completion date was June 30.

Jon Melvin, director of facilities, said he had a meeting with the contractor, Lendlease Construction Inc., to talk about the delay Thursday afternoon.

Melvin said he thinks the project will “be substantially completed by the end of the month.” But the county will need another 30 days to install the video and audio equipment in all of the new courtrooms with the preliminary work happening this week.

“We also need to train the judges, staff, and local attorneys on all the new courtroom equipment,” Melvin said. “We’re looking at a move date probably end of October, first of November — still not comfortable pinning that date.”

The Delaware County courts, Clerk of Courts, and other offices will move into building after construction is completed.

In other business, the commissioners approved an amendment to a contract for the provision of child placement and related services with the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

The contract is for a “very troubled young man,” who is 11 years old, said David Dombrosky, director of Delaware County Department of Job and Family Services. The boy has had 17 placement changes with the county, including five this year.

The boy’s last placement ended with broken bones and some surgery for the staff. The county pays for half of the contract’s costs, which is about $430 a day, Dombrosky said.

He said this is the boy’s last option because there are no providers willing to accept him.

“It might be necessary to move him out of state,” he said.

Commissioners also renewed the Delaware County’s Sheriff’s Office’s agreements with the Delaware-Morrow Health & Recovery Services Board and Education Service Center of Central Ohio to have a substance abuse liaison. The board provides a $20,000 grant to employ the liaison full time.

The liaison works with families affected by the opioid epidemic and provides education resources to schools, said DCSO Major Dave Wiseman.

Four new paramedics were sworn in during the meeting. The new crew members are Dustin Schaaf, Ryan Kirby, Kami Paine, and Jon Young.

By Brandon Klein

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Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

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