POINT PLEASANT — This week work officially began on the renovation of the old Point Pleasant Hardware Building - a building which will eventually be home to the Mason County Sheriff’s Department.
Work began with asbestos abatement with workers sealing off windows and placing a huge dumpster at the back of the building. The dumpster is covered with a tarp and caution tape, warning all who pass about the materials contained within it.
Asbestos removal is only the first step in a process which will take around nine months to complete. This work will include installing a new elevator shaft at the back of the building, demolition and removal work on the inside followed by the finish work.
The first floor will belong to the sheriff’s department and will include a public waiting area, a secure door, a reception area, as well as offices for the sheriff and chief deputy. In addition, the first floor with contain an evidence room, interview room, weapons and equipment room, large meeting room, five offices for deputies, a break room, restroom facilities and a mechanical room.
The second floor will likely be used for county storage while the third floor has considerable storage space as well as an apartment which the county is looking into possibly renting for additional income. The elevator, which will be built on to the back of the building, as well as placement of a ramp also at the back of the building, will make the new sheriff’s department office handicap accessible.
Last month, upon the recommendation of the project’s engineering firm, Chapman Technical Group, the commission unanimously voted to accept the bid of $1,360,900 from Lombardi Development Company of Follensbee for the renovation. The Lombardi bid was the lowest of seven bids received.
Commissioners have stressed to Lombardi personnel they want local labor and local vendors used on the project when at all possible. Lombardi personnel will also be meeting with the commissioners every second and fourth Thursday of the month through the duration of the project to provide updates and information.