Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Repairs will start this summer on Alton Lennon Federal Courthouse with three-year timeline

Large yellow hoses are connected to windows on the backside of the Alton Lennon Federal Courthouse, which has been “stabilized” by government contractors since the devastation of Hurricane Florence. (Port City Daily/Preston Lennon)

WILMINGTON — The federal government recently awarded a mammoth contract to an Alabama construction firm for repair work on the Alton Lennon Federal Courthouse. The early 20th-century building overlooking the Cape Fear River was devastated by the slow-moving deluges of Hurricane Florence two-and-a-half years ago. The firm will begin work on the courthouse building this summer.

Millions have already been spent safeguarding the historic structure after it was subjected to a battering during the storm. Port City Daily previously reported an array of government contracts were inked in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence that related to the Alton Lennon building. 

READ MORE: Feds award $31m contract for courthouse repairs; more than $10m already spent

The General Services Administration, which oversees the federal government’s real-estate holdings, expects repair work to begin this summer. The target completion date is sometime in 2024.

Before doling out $31 million to Brasfield & Gorrie, the winner of the flagship repair contract, the federal government had already spent upwards of $10 million on the building since Hurricane Florence hit in September 2018. 

“GSA’s first steps were to stabilize the Courthouse and protect it from further damage until comprehensive repairs could be completed,” according to William Powell, a spokesperson for the General Services Administration. 

“Beginning in November 2018, GSA contracted with professional engineers, architects, and other experts to identify repairs required to restore the integrity of the building and reoccupy the building, including a building assessment and water infiltration study,” Powell wrote in an email. 

Even before the hurricane, mold remediation was underway at the Alton Lennon building, according to government spending records. The storm substantially exacerbated the issue. 

A Greensboro-based company, Southeast Restoration, earned $1.5 million for water damage work on the building that began in Feb. 2019. The value of the company’s deal then increased to $5.3 million. 

“GSA awarded a contract for architectural and engineering design services in Jan. 2020,” Powell said. “The contract was subsequently modified to include these services during the construction phase. An award for construction management services (unrelated to mold assessment) was awarded in Feb. 2020.” 

Two companies, CEMS Engineering and AECOM Technical Services, made seven-figure deals, for architectural and engineering services, respectively. Both contracts extend until 2024; together they are worth $7.6 million. 

“Currently, we are proceeding with comprehensive repairs, which will be performed by Brasfield & Gorrie under the recently awarded contract,” Powell wrote.

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