June 20, 2024

Jasper County admin building, courthouse to see window and glass repairs

Architects to bid out window work, in-house crews will install new interior glass

The Jasper County Board of Supervisors approved a bid on Feb. 21 to create a holding cell in a former judge's chambers on the third floor of the courthouse.

The Jasper County Courthouse and the administration building will be seeing repairs sometime this year. The supervisors on May 2 approved the purchase of new glass at the courthouse and approved a contract with the county’s architectural firm to bid out replacement windows at the administration building.

Jasper County Maintenance Director Adam Sparks said five windows in the administration building need to be replaced. According to county documents, the windows will be replaced with insulated units and thermally broken frames. The work will also include minor interior and exterior patching.

The window replacement was included in the fiscal year 2024 budget. Sparks said there was still money available in the capital projects budget, but he approached the supervisors last week to at least get the contract with BBS Architects Engineers started so they could bid out the work.

In total, the county will have to pay $7,300 to BBS Architects. Sparks wanted to get a head start on the project so that it can be done sometime this summer. If the county waits until July 1 — the start of the new fiscal year — to get going, Sparks said it is likely going to be fall by the time the windows are replaced.

“I’d rather pull the windows out when it’s warm than colder,” Sparks said. “Just trying to get this started so they can bid it out and get the dollar amount back to see exactly what we’re going to spend. There were five windows unfortunately that were not taken out of that building because they were newer windows.”

At the time the administration building was being remodeled, officials believed the windows to be in good shape. But the winter weather showed otherwise. Sparks said the windows were failing during the winter. Window companies visited the offices to make recommendations, but nothing can be done.

Other than to the replace the windows.

“They’re just old enough that they failed, and the biggest one is the one in the big conference room,” Sparks said. “It has shattered a little bit on the inside, so right now we got Gorilla tape holding cracks together. We just want to get going as fast as we can and get those new ones put in.”

In the courthouse, Sparks has also noticed a lot of the glass work in the interior do not match each other.

Prior to Sparks’ tenure as maintenance director, there were about 13 pieces of interior glass that were “randomly replaced.” It seems to Sparks that nobody took the time to try to find the original glass or glass that looked like the original glass. Which means there are 13 pieces of glass in doors that are of all different styles.

Hamilton Glass, a Newton-based glass shop, found the exact glass pattern used throughout the courthouse. Sparks asked supervisors to replace all 13 pieces that can be found on the first, second and third floors with glass that matches the rest of the courthouse; the glass would also be tempered to avoid shattering.

Which also means it will be a little bit more expensive. Two bids were received. Elite Glass & Metal, LLC of Johnston submitted a $7,650 bid. But the lowest bid came from local contractor Hamilton Glass for $6,632.40. The money to pay for this project will come out of the regular repair and maintenance funds.

“We have plenty in there to do this project, so that’s what I want to do,” Sparks said. “…As well as we take care of this place, these glass pieces look odd. A lot of these pieces that need replaced are on doors that we’re putting new labels on and new signage. So I got a lot of that sitting up in my office.”

Hamilton Glass is only providing the glass. Sparks said his crews will be installing the glass themselves.

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.