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Carbon making room for offices $4M renovation moving forward; county seeks more space

Carbon County’s renovation project to provide additional space for a few departments is moving forward.

Last week, the commissioners provided an update on the 44/76 Susquehanna St. renovation project, saying that they are still hoping to hit their target goal of September.

Commissioner Rocky Ahner said that progress on the 76 building is approximately two weeks ahead of schedule, while the 44 building is approximately two weeks behind schedule due to a special order that has not been received.

In the 76 building, the second-floor construction has been completed and furniture is expected to be installed on May 3. The first-floor construction is also expected to be completed June 18 with furniture installation the week of June 21 and 28.

If all goes well, departments that will be moving into that building will do so the week of July 5.

On the 44 building, Ahner said that the 20-foot studding had not yet arrived and that was the holdup; but construction completion of the full building, which includes constructing a new second floor onto an existing building, is expected to be completed by Sept. 3. Furniture will then be installed the week of Sept. 6 and departments will move in the week of Sept. 13.

The commissioners said that the main goal is still to get the elections bureau into the 44 building ahead of the general election.

The total cost of the renovation project is approximately $4 million and began in October.

Once completed, the 76 Susquehanna St. building will accommodate adult probation, Veterans Affairs and juvenile probation on the first floor with children & youth and domestic relations staying on the second floor.

The 44 building, which was the former archives and maintenance building, will house the departments of Elections, Planning and Workforce, which had all been located in 76 Susquehanna.

Since the middle of last year, the county has been leasing space from Jim Thorpe Area School District in its former administration building at 410 Center Ave.

Several departments, including the elections bureau and planning and development have relocated temporarily to this site.

Earlier this month, the commissioners amended its lease agreement to add an additional 402 square feet of space in the administration building at $10 per square foot, with additional use of the gymnasium, board room and girl’s locker room as needed.

The county is also continuing to look for additional space with hiring companies to complete appraisals of the Jim Thorpe administration building and another building on Iron Street in Lehighton.

In a related matter, the board also approved two actions for the project.

The first was with Diefenderfer Electrical Contractors of Allentown to install one single mode fiber optic cable between the two buildings at a cost of $16,330. The cost does not include pole permits.

The second action was an addendum to a temporary easement with Thomas J. Marsden and JMLS Incorporated, trading as MYST. The addendum increases the easement area to 10 feet, effective through May 1 for $3,000.

The current construction site at 44 Susquehanna St., Jim Thorpe. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS
The outside of 76 Susquehanna St., Jim Thorpe, which the county is renovating to create additional space for several departments. TIMES NEWS FILE PHOTO
The artist rendering of what the new 44 Susquehanna St., Jim Thorpe building will look like once completed. The building will help Carbon County with increasing space for some departments, including the elections bureau. FILE PHOTO