MARINETTE — The first phase to make the former Marinette County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) usable again — the removal of steel from the second floor that was formerly the county jail — has been completed. The next step in renovating the facility on Ella Court Street, that has been mostly empty for 15 years, is the solicitation of engineering, architectural and construction oversight services.

“The steel demolition per the specification on the RFP (request for proposals) is complete,” Facilities Director Marty Keyport told the county board’s Infrastructure Committee on Wednesday. “We’re very happy with the work. The contractors did a great job and performed exactly what we asked them to do.”

Keyport said the contractors were called back this week to remove some steel hidden behind the wall and ceiling, that was expected to be done later that day or Wednesday. 

Removal of the steel began in February. The county board at its Jan. 29 meeting voted to enter into an agreement with Henry Malke and Son of Peshtigo and A&P of WI of Sobieski to remove the steel detention equipment at a cost pf $24,675.

“The RFP is out for the engineering and architectural and engineering services,” Keyport said. “John (Lefebvre, county administrator) and I will be meeting with interested vendors next Tuesday for the site walkthrough (of the two-story building).”

The response deadline for the RFP that was posted May 1, is June 4, the day before the committee’s next meeting. 

“We might have a list (of proposals from contractors) available for the committee to glance at at the next meeting, but possibly not take any action,” Lefebvre said. “Maybe you’d like to interview a handful of them.

“We might schedule a special meeting to take action. I would like it (the recommended contractor for the work) to go to the county board by June, if at all possible. “

Lefebvre has said in the past he envisions the building being renovated to house several county departments.

The RFP says “Marinette County is requesting sealed proposals to provide engineering, architectural and construction oversight services for renovation and conversion of the old Law Enforcement Center to office space. The county is looking for engineering and architectural expertise to remove the old LEC facility, which includes, but is not limited to roof replacement, and incorporation of green roof, incorporation of exterior stairways into the building footprint and extension of these staircases to the rooftop; expansion of garage bays; demolition and construction of internal walls; replacement and upgrade of the HVAC system; modification of the fire protection system for change in building usage; electrical and data wiring; replacement of windows; incorporation of new bathrooms and upgrade of bathrooms on first floor: ADA building acccesibility; ceiling, floor and wall coverings, and the design of office space.”

The RFP says “construction is anticipated to commence in the fall of 2019 with the building ready for occupation in summer of 2020.”

Keyport also updated the committee on the relocation of Information Services from the basement of the courthouse to the fourth floor, which also formerly housed the county jail and has been used for several years to house a print shop and locked storage of documents from several departments.

He said the same contractors that removed the steel from the former LEC will begin removing steel from the fourth floor of the courthouse as early as next week.

“We’ve got about two-thirds of the area cleaned out,” Keyport said. “I’ll be working with the DA and the Clerk of Courts to get  their items moved and find a suitable location for them to store their files that they are required to keep.

“The move will continue. IS is an extremely detailed department. You can’t just unplug and carry everything up to the fourth floor and plug it back.”

He said a few vendors will be involved in the move, including electricians. 

Keyport told the committee that work will begin next week to remove asbestos from between the second and third floors of the courthouse. The county board voted earlier this month to enter into an agreement with Pearson Asbestos Abatement Inc. of Escanaba, Mich., to remove the asbestos from an area of the courthouse not accessible to the public at a cost of $21,988.

“Most people won’t even know it’s going on,” he said. “All of the material will be contained. That will be generally be completed by the end of the month. It’s pretty labor intensive because of the environment in there. It’s not walking into a room and pulling a few ceiling tiles and taking insulation out.”

Keyport also announced Wednesday that exterior renovations to the courthouse annex will begin begin next week if the weather cooperates.

The work that will include repairs to windows flashing and the exterior insulation and finish system is expected to take three to four weeks for Waterproofing Technologies, a division of Tremco Incorporated, Sheboygan, Wis., to complete

He said some of the work will be done in evenings and weekends to reduce interruptions to the work flow in county offices and taking up a large portion of the parking lot by the annex.

“They are going to stagger a lot of their work schedule because a lot of their working will disturb the normal flow of county court offices,” Keyport explained. “We’ll work with the contractor to minimize the disruptions.

“The equipment and scaffolding and lifts will consume most of the parking lot so they’re going to work some offhours and weekends.”