Milton Police Department/City Hall project on stable ground

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Neil Johnson
Sunday, February 16, 2014

MILTON—What it is: When contractors were digging for footings to link the future City Hall building with the former clinic that is being renovated for a new police station, the city of Milton got a $33,000 surprise: unstable soil.

City Administrator Jerry Schuetz said the $2 million project to renovate the former Dean medical building at 710 S. Janesville St., hit a pitfall when the city's new police station and add on a 6,000-square-foot City Hall when crews found soil between the two structures was unstable.

The discovery was “unforeseen” he said.

Schuetz said contractor Magill Construction workers were digging to place footings and bearing walls between the existing clinic building and the future City Hall structure when they found soils they feared would shift over time, and cause parts of the new facility to settle.

The contractor dug deeper and poured a concrete slurry to stabilize the ground.

The extra work and material on the soil will add 33,000 to the project's cost, but the poured slurry was $10,000 less expensive than an alternative—adding a stabilizing base of gravel and soil fill, Schuetz said.

Schuetz said the work stabilized the ground beneath, and ensured parts of the building won't begin to sink into the ground in the future. The city will pay for the work out of a $70,000 project contingency fund.

Schuetz said the project has kept on schedule, and so far, on budget despite bitterly cold temperatures and poor weather the last two months. He said the contractor has had to call in more work crews on days when the weather has been more suitable for construction to make up for time lost on bitterly cold days.  

Shuetz said the city has begun to plan moving out of the Shaw Building at 430 E. High Street, where City Hall is now located in 3,000 square feet of space, in late June. He said the city has begun ordering furniture and equipment for the new City Hall, some from the online merchant craigslist.

He said the new police department and City Hall is slated to open a few days after the city's 2014 Fourth of July Festival.

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