County selects courthouse contractor

ALAMOSA — Two days after opening the bids the Alamosa County commissioners selected GH Phipps Construction Companies for the new courthouse and probation building during a special meeting Friday morning. It will cost $13,088,200 with the millwork in the judge’s chambers and a sidewalk extension included and it will take 422 days to complete the project.

“No matter how you massage the numbers, GH Phipps is our low bidder by around $418,000,” said Larry Schreiner of Sage Constructors. “They’re a good outfit and I recommend we move ahead with them.”

Schreiner has worked with them on Adams State University’s renovations of Richardson Hall and east campus. GH Phipps recently broke ground for San Luis Valley Health’s cancer center addition. They will be subcontracting with local construction company Alcon.

Combined with the bid for the jail expansion and remodel, the entire cost of the “one-cent for justice” project is $26,596,358. The county currently has $25,853,771 available. Though they’re technically over budget by $742,586, officials believe they will have money left over from the $1,143,358 construction contingency to cover the difference.

“I hope we don’t use any of it but realistically it will offset the overage,” said Alamosa County Chief Financial Officer Brittney DeHerrera.

“It’s very tight,” said Alamosa County Commissioner Michael Yohn, “but it looks like a project that can go forward. I feel good about this and I’m glad they came in where they came in.”

The county also believes they can save roughly $200,000 in value engineering with the jail expansion and is proceeding to acquire additional funds.

“With the possible grant from [Department of Local Affairs] and going back to the Underfunded [Courthouse Facility Commission] again, along with Xcel credits, I think we’re right in the ball park of what we anticipated,” said Alamosa County Commissioner Darius Allen.

Twelfth Judicial District Chief Judge Pattie Swift couldn’t attend the meeting but provided a statement. “Our working relationship with Alamosa County is strong,” the statement read, “and through the new partnership with the county’s selected contractor, GH Phipps Construction Companies, we anticipate great teamwork as we see this project through to a successful conclusion.”

Allen adjourned the meeting by thanking the taxpayers. “It’s not going to be a super fancy building but it will be very nice and very useful and I think that’s what our taxpayers asked for,” he said.

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