"We felt it important that you come down and get a good look at things," said the project's engineer, Tom Strickland of Strickland Engineering in Jackson. "We're looking at almost a complete renovation of the heating and air conditioning in the building."
"Every 100 years or so this place needs to be remodeled and we're just trying to do that right," said Commissioner Jamie Burger.
The county will receive bids on May 25 and officials hope to see the award made on May 27.
"We're taking a lump-sum bid for the work," Strickland said. Bids should also list subcontractors, Strickland said.
Cost will most likely be the deciding factor in awarding the bid along with keeping the courthouse cool during the project.
"We're just going to ask that you work out a plan for the best way to keep some air conditioning in the building," Strickland said. "It all needs to be planned so it's not down any more than necessary."
Day-to-day activities at the courthouse will continue as well, Strickland said: "We don't want to disrupt them so much they can't function."
The work will involve modifications to some existing air-conditioning systems including some of the old duct work. Old condensing units on concrete pads outside the courthouse will be removed so new units can be placed on them.
Strickland said four air-conditioning units presently handle the courthouse's first floor.
The main courtroom has its own air conditioning. "That whole system will come out," Strickland said. New rooftop units will then be used to cool the courtroom which will require contractors to cut holes through the concrete roof.
Two new cold air supplies will be added to the lobby, which will require the floor there to be cut. "Everything else is in the ceilings and walls," Strickland said.
"The old system was heated with a steam boiler and that is being removed," Strickland said, which will clear space for the new system's installation and a new mechanical room.
The job also includes removing any pieces of the old boiler system left after the asbestos removal team is done, Strickland said. "There's a lot of steel - radiators, heat exchanges...partition walls," he said.
The project will require some electrical work including installation of a new panel, feeder and breakers. The system will be using a seven-day programmable thermostat with remote sensors.
Contractors were at first advised they could set their own completion date, but after further discussion commissioners made it clear they would like to see the project completed before Oct. 1.
The contractors attending the prebid meeting seemed to agree the job could not be completed in 90 days, but some thought 120 days may be possible. They said it will be in the middle of summer and they can't predict what kind of emergencies might come up.
contractors would communicate with his firm during the project. "You come to us for any questions," he said.
Following Strickland's comments, the engineer, contractors and commissioners toured the courthouse.