Johnson County hires contractor for courthouse renovations

The supervisors voted to approve the contractor Tricon during Thursday’s formal meeting, clearing the way for the project to move ahead.


Matt Sindt

The Board of Supervisors listen to speakers at the Johnson County Administration Building on Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2022.

Alejandro Rojas, News Reporter

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted during its formal meeting on Thursday to approve a contract with Tricon for the renovations at the Johnson County Courthouse.

Although the estimated cost of the project was $2 million, Tricon indicated in their bid that it would cost them a little over $1.8 million to complete the project. In the county’s original document for bidders, it outlined its intention to have bidders complete the project by July 1, 2023, although the county would add an extension if needed.

Supervisor Rod Sullivan told The Daily Iowan that the county wanted the project done as soon as possible after it was delayed once.

According to the document for bidders, the project would involve the replacement of floors, the construction of courtrooms, offices, and accessible bathrooms. Architects hired by the county estimated the project would cost approximately $2 million dollars.

Tricon is a construction company based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that has worked on projects around the county and state, including with the University of Iowa. According to its website, Tricon most recently completed a project at UI which involved the installation of turbines at the UI Power Plant in 2021.

Tricon staff will work on the renovation project for the second-level courtroom at the courthouse.

Tricon was one of three bidders for the project and was recommended to the board by Johnson County special projects manager Ray Forsythe during the board’s work session on Nov. 2.

Part of the recommendation involved Tricon having the lowest of the three bids submitted.

To pick Tricon, Forsythe explained he asked neighboring communities — Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty — and public entities such as the University of Iowa and Iowa City Community School District for references.

Among the items he asked about was the quality of work, timeliness, budget issues, quality of the subcontractors, professionalism, communication, and asking if the public entities would use the contractors again.

“Most of the respondents indicated that the quality of work was good or acceptable, with several indicating that the quality of the work was high,” Forsythe said.

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