Mother Nature has not been kind this year to Scott County, which is facing unexpected major repairs to the exterior of its Administrative Center.
The Scott County Board of Supervisors got its first look Tuesday morning at the design plans developed by Wold Architects and Engineers. The $1.6 million project will replace the building's exterior cladding with a metal material after some of the previous material became damaged and had fallen off the building this past winter.
The project also included installing new replacement windows on the office building.
Roger Schroepfer, a partner with Wold, said the EFIS (exterior insulation finishing system) that had covered the building has since been removed.
"We need to get back to the concrete structure and steel," he told the board at its committee of the whole meeting. Taking the exterior down to the concrete will ensure the new material connects better with the structure.
Sharing architectural drawings of the new building design, he said Wold suggests using metal insulated panels to cover the exterior.
"To me (the current building) looks like a parking structure. We're trying to make it look like more of an institutional, government facility," he said of the proposed dark gray panels at the building base and lighter gray for the upper floor coverings.
Tammy Speidel, the county's facility and support services director, said the cladding product has a lifespan of 25 to 30 years and by applying an electro-static paint after that it can add another 20 years to its life.
But Supervisor Ken Croken questioned the design, asking if architects could "happy up" the color. "You've gone from parking garage to state pen," he said of the appearance. "I just don't feel it reflects the brand of the county very well."
Schroepfer said the county has two options: a different color of metal panel or a textured panel.
Fellow supervisors, including Supervisor Ken Beck, expressed concern about project delays. "I don't want to get into killing the project because we're changing colors," Beck said.
Speidel said changes in materials or colors would not stall the project, which will go out for bid Friday.
Schroepfer said the firm will present alternative colors to the board.
After the meeting, Speidel said the building troubles began in January when maintenance staff arriving for snow removal duties discovered some of the EFIS panels had fallen off on the north side.
After testing two other sides of the building, she said bigger problems were discovered and all of the panels were removed because they were a potential hazard.
Speidel added that the panels were installed in 2003 using a wood product. But upon testing, the county learned that anywhere water got in the wood has rotted. The new exterior covering will be made of metal and have insulation.
The project also includes about $700,000 to replace the windows — a project that had originally been slated in about two or three years.
She estimated the entire project will be completed by the middle or the end of November.