Manatee County Judicial Center repairs have started

skennedy@bradenton.comMarch 7, 2013 

MANATEE -- Workers were installing fencing Thursday in preparation for a $2 million remediation project at the Manatee County Judicial Center.

The repairs are needed to fix construction or design defects on parts of the stucco exterior of the downtown Bradenton building, county officials have said.

Earlier in the day, Manatee County Attorney Mitchell "Mickey" Palmer was poised to file suit against Balfour Beatty Construction, LLC, which is paying for the repairs, after many delays on the start of the project.

But that apparently will be unnecessary, as a work crew appeared at the site, at 1051 Manatee Ave. W., and began cordoning off the sidewalk.

"The fencing operation will take several days, and we should be receiving the first scaffolding Monday," said Steve Holt, executive vice president of Balfour Beatty Construction, which is paying for the repairs.

In 10 days to two weeks, the stucco remediation will begin in earnest, Holt said.

He added that the company plans to update county officials each Friday throughout the life of the project, which is expected to take eight or nine months to complete.

Plans call for removal of existing stucco and the installation of a new stucco system.

Holt blamed a subcontractor for defects obvious on parts of the exterior of the building.

"We have pursued legal action" against the subcontractor, Holt said Thursday.

The judicial center was dedicated in 2008.

The former jail, which is now empty and part of the Judicial Center complex, once held detainees for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It closed the facility in 2006.Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitternote>

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