It took some time to complete but Ford County officials have reached a deal with Building Solutions to rebuild the landfill building that was totaled in the May 2016 tornado.

Ford County Administrator J.D. Gilbert stated the cost will be for $385,000 and the contract will be finalized on Monday.

"There will be some concrete work done initially to prepare the slab for the building," Gilbert said. "The pre-engineered building will take approximately 8 weeks to arrive on-site after the date of order.

"The building will most likely be ordered next week barring any major issues." Gilbert indicated the contract will call for a completion date of 168 days from the commencement date of the contract on Monday.

The building is estimated to be completed mid to late March barring weather delays which have been factored into the 168-day schedule. As for why the project took such a lengthy period of time to finalize, Gilbert said, "There are a lot of steps to rebuilding an existing structure.

"When a structure is hit by a tornado, the rebuilding process involves more entities and specialists than a brand new build.

"Initially, insurance adjusters are heavily involved and trying to get an accurate inventory of the contents of the building, the value of that contents and the amount of damage to the contents is time consuming.

"The tornado effected the entire jurisdiction and the county has responsibilities to citizens as well as partner agencies during the recovery process. The county is not only interested in making sure the landfill building is replaced, but also in making sure the process has integrity, the engineering and design is efficient, affordable and correct and the function of the building is appropriate. "The original landfill building was built in 1995 and this was an opportunity for the county to completely re-evaluate the location of the building, location of the scale, the form of the building, the interior layout and function of the building and the sub-grade construction of the remaining concrete slab.

"This is a process that takes time and should be handled with the safety of the staff and the benefit to the citizens of Ford County in mind.

"The county did not want to speed through the process just so a building was in view, the county wanted to move forward responsibly and carefully and as responsible stewards for Ford County." Funding for the rebuild will be through the county insurance provider.

Gilbert said the county filed a claim with KCAMP who then provided replacement cost funds. With the rebuild, there will be some changes made from the previous building. "The new building will be similar," Gilbert said. "There were some technicalities to address in regards to the remaining foundation and the original design of the original building, so it was not as easy as using the original designs for the foundation and building.

"There was a period of time in the process that required a lot of problem solving in the engineering and architectural areas and it was determined that the original plans were not going to work for replacement.

"That information sort of brought us back to the beginning in trying to determine the most cost effective way to address the design."

The majority of the previous foundation will be used but the anchor system will need to be replaced.

The building will also be longer and wider and will feature a new masonry storm shelter to be accessed by staff.

The changes in the layout will provide maximum efficiency and improved comfort for the office staff in the interior of the building according to Gilbert.

"Overall, the county staff has worked together as a family to make sure this process was as smooth as possible," he said. "There were and are a lot of people involved in emergency response and, technically, the file on the May 2016 tornado is still active.

"The tornado seems like it was a long way away, but there are families that lost more than the landfill building.

"Until everything from the May 2016 tornado has been repaired or replaced, the incident is still considered to be 'open.'

"We appreciate the concern of the citizens and the cooperation of everyone involved in the response and recovery to the tornado."

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