The Warren County Board of Supervisors met in special session today, holding a public hearing on the bids for the Warren County Justice Center Project. A full room of residents expressed concerns on the current plan’s lack of green space, the project’s cost, and the location of the building. The bids that were returned to the board during the initial process totaled $37 million, well over the maximum budget of near $32 million. The options presented to the board included rejecting all bids, accepting several of the bids that came back at a favorable cost and re-bidding the others, or constructing the building as bid by either raising taxes to make up the difference in cost or adding another bond referendum. Board Chair Crystal McIntyre tells KNIA News the board chose to reject all bids, and essentially start over from the beginning.

“We pushed back on our construction manager DCI and architect/engineer Shive Hattery. We told them that they have grossly over designed and have not kept within budget, and we asked them to go back and redesign within the 80,000 sq. ft. footprint of the building and rejected all of the bids from the process.”

The board will meet in October to get an update on the redesign. No construction will be conducted on the square until spring of 2020 at the earliest.