Elkhart County Health Department

The Elkhart County Health Department office in Elkhart is shown.

GOSHEN — Work is getting fast-tracked to put a new roof over the the Elkhart County Health Department.

The current roof is leaking and needs replaced at the Lincoln Center building, where the health department is based, the Elkhart County Commissioners said Monday.

The board declared an emergency for the building, 608 Oakland Ave., in Elkhart and approved hiring Middlebury-based Green Improvements for the replacement project. The declaration let the commissioners bypass the normal bid process and get quotes more quickly from contractors.

Bruce MacLachlan, the county’s director of buildings and grounds, recommended Green Improvements’ proposal after reviewing six bids from four companies. Green Improvements submitted three of the six bids, paperwork shows.

The one he favored, totaling $101,563, calls for tearing out the top layer of the Lincoln Center’s current roof and replacing it with a white PVC polymer material membrane. The proposal also calls for repairing up to 1,300 square-feet of the roof’s wet sub-base, as well as a 25-year warranty, MacLachlan explained.

The Green Improvements bid wasn’t the lowest the county received, but in the middle. MacLachlan said he recommended it because it offers the best long-term solution. All six bids presented varying ideas for fixing the roof.

“None of the bids that came in were for exactly the same product, which made it challenging to make a choice on one,” MacLachlan said.

Shetler Construction of LaGrange submitted the lowest bid of $50,958. MacLachlan said that project called for keeping the health department’s current roof, fixing the seams and re-painting it white, along with a 10-year warranty.

Leaks into the building came as the approximately 30-year-old roof became worn with age.

“The roof has outlived its design,” MacLachlan said.

He noted the replacement project should be able to begin quickly.


Also Monday, the commissioners accepted a quote for $106,000 from Elkhart-based Brian’s Tree Service to clear trees ahead of an upcoming project to widen part of C.R. 38.

Transportation Manager Charlie McKenzie said the clearing work will help prepare the route for construction. Plans call for enlarging C.R. 38 and adding buggy lanes from C.R. 31 to Ind. 13. The first phase is scheduled to begin next year.

Meanwhile, the county highway department will host public meetings on two other big road projects this month.

The first will be held at Crossroads Community Church Thursday to go over plans to turn the intersections of C.R. 18, C.R. 13 and C.R. 115 in Elkhart into an elongated roundabout. That project, estimated at $2.3 million, could begin in 2021.

The other meeting will discuss longer-range plans for widening the rest of C.R. 17 to a four-lane corridor from C.R. 38 to U.S. 6. That’s scheduled to be held Monday, Sept. 23 at Maple City Chapel in Goshen.

Aimee Ambrose can be reached at aimee.ambrose@goshennews.com or 574-533-2151, ext. 316. Follow her on Twitter at @aambrose_TGN.

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