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Meeting to shape U.S. appeals court construction

Engineers, county officials, and judges of the 6th District Court of Appeals will meet today to determine final plans for the construction of a building in downtown Toledo to house the court.

The project was delayed in April when Lucas County commissioners rejected all construction bids because they were more than 10 percent above the estimate for each phase of the project. Those bids totaled about $8.85 million.

Reports will be reviewed in an attempt to contain costs and keep the project close to the $7.5 million budgeted for construction, according to Sandy Isenberg, president of the commissioners.

Although delayed, Mrs. Isenberg said the court needs new quarters and a courthouse will be constructed.

John Alexander, an assistant Lucas County administrator, said after today's meeting he will discuss the estimates with the other counties in the 6th District.

In May, the Poggemeyer Design Group of Bowling Green submitted changes to the building's design that would save slightly more than $900,000, but still left the project over budget by about $385,000.

The biggest single change eliminated a one-story annex that was to have housed the clerk of courts and other administrative functions. That change would save an estimated $240,000.

A number of changes in the exterior design would total additional savings of $260,000, according to estimates.

Judge Mark Pietrykowski, presiding judge of the appeals court, said yesterday that the judges are interested in any savings that can be realized, but the building needs to be built to last.

“The building should remain appropriate to its site on the [Civic Center] mall,” Judge Pietrykowski said. “It's not just going to be there for five or 10 years, but will be there for probably 50 years.”

He added that the judges want to be certain the building retains electrical capacity sufficient for “the technology of today and of the future.”

It is planned that the structure will be a three-story, L-shaped building opening toward the Civic Center Mall.

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