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Golden Valley bringing courthouse into compliance with ADA for $1M

For a little more than $1 million, Golden Valley County will bring its 89-year-old courthouse into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

An elevator and five restrooms will be added to the courthouse, according to the county auditor's office.

"It's something we got to have," County Commissioner John Thompson said. "It's got to be handicap accessible."

The 2010 Standards for Accessible Design update to the 1990 ADA became enforceable March 15, said Cindy Powell, outreach specialist for Meeting the Challenge Inc. of the Rocky Mountain ADA Center, which covers the region including the Dakotas.

The county was able to save up for the project, Thompson said.

The general contractor's bid was accepted at $781,500, the mechanical at $160,920 and electrical at $127,532, according to the auditor's office. The total cost of the bids is just less than $1.07 million.

"The state's been very lenient with us over the years because it's taken a while to put the money aside to get this completed," Thompson said. "As far as I know, they want you to do it as soon as you possibly can."

The three-story courthouse will get a family restroom on the first floor and men's and women's restrooms on the second and third floors.

The age of the building provided unique challenges, said Doug Oswood, president of Oswood Construction Co. of Great Falls, Mont., which is the general contractor.

"They've done a great job blending the new and the old," said Oswood, who was born in Beach.

All of the work will be in the back of the building and will not mar the 1923 façade of the courthouse, Thompson said.

The project was to begin in May, but because of delays with a rebar shipment, it is now set to start July 11, Oswood said. It is projected to last nine months.

The mechanical work will be done by CA Contracting Inc. in Dickinson and electrical work was bid out to Berger Electric of Dickinson, according to the county auditor's office.

The age of the building shouldn't cause any issues with the electrical work, Berger Electric Vice President Allen Berger said.

"The way it was designed, the addition will fit well and work well with the exisiting," Berger said.

The distance from Beach to Great Falls, 388 miles, didn't pose many challenges for Oswood Construction, Oswood said.

The company is also working on a similar project at the Dawson County Courthouse in Glendive, Mont.

Beach and Golden Valley County residents are excited for the upgrades to their courthouse, Thompson said.

"It's a great historic building," he said.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
(701) 456-1206