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County of Avery Continues to Seek Contractor Bids for Renovation and Expansion of Future Department of Social Services Headquarters Building

By Tim Gardner

Avery County is seeking sealed bids from qualified General Contractors for the renovation of, and addition to a building, at 358 Beech Street in Newland that will serve as the new headquarters for the Avery Department of Social Services (DSS).

The new building will double the size of Avery’s current DSS offices, according to project architect Bobby Patterson of Architectural Design Associates of Clemmons, NC.

The project includes the renovation of an approximately 5,400 square foot single-story wood framed building, addition of approximately 5,400 square feet of single-story wood framed spaces and various phases of site development.

Avery Commission Chairwoman Martha Hicks said that renovation and expansion of the building is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023 and the Department of Social Services will relocate from its existing offices on the first floor of the County Administration Building and the Avery County Health Department complex shortly after.

She said the new Department of Social Services (DSS) complex will be “state of the art and consolidate DSS services into one building and provide plenty of much more needed space for its staff and operations.”

When the new complex’s renovation and expansion is completed, it will have 54 staff offices, compared to 44 the current headquarters DSS operates from. Besides a waiting room reception area and restrooms, it will also have an emergency shelter–a bedroom for children or families to stay in, either overnight or for several days. And the new DSS headquarters will include a large kitchen with a washer and clothes dryer, as well as a breakroom and large and small conference rooms.

Additionally, there will be plenty of client, visitor and staff parking spaces available at the new DSS complex, according to Hicks.

$2,500,000 has been allocated by the Avery Board of Commissioners to complete the project.

Bidding began on the project on December 13, 2022.  Bids will be received until 3:00 p.m. on January 19, 2023 in the Commissioners’ Board Room, located on the second floor of the Avery County Administration Building at 75 Linville Street, Newland.

Bidders wishing to submit their bid by U.S. Mail may do so by sending it to the following contact and address:

Phillip Barrier

Avery County Manager’s Office

175 Linville Street

Newland, NC 28657

Any bidder wishing to mail in their bid is responsible for its receipt at the county manager’s office by the bid deadline. Bids received by hand, courier, delivery service, mail or any other means after the advertised deadline will not be accepted or opened. They will be returned to the bidder.

A 5 percent Bid Bond or certified check in the same amount of the bid amount is required to be included with the bid.

Those submitting bids will also be required to review and follow the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise requirements as established by the County of Avery that are contained within the bidding documents.

A mandatory pre-bid conference will be held in the Commissioner’s Board Room on Thursday, January 5, 2023 at 10:30 a.m. Representatives of the architect and the owner will be present. The building that will house the Department of Social Services will be open for inspection immediately after the pre-bid conference. This will be the only opportunity for bidders to tour the building.

Interested Prime Bidders may obtain bidding documents via e-mail from Patterson of Architectural Design Associates at the following email address: bpatterson@ada-nc.com.

Hicks noted that all bids will be publicly opened and read aloud at a commissioners meeting.

She added: “On behalf of our other county commissioners–Tim Phillips, Wood Hall (Woodie) Young, Jr., Dennis Aldridge and Robert Burleson, along with our County Manager Phillip Barrier, Assistant County Manager Cindy Turbyfill and our most professional and wonderful DSS staff–we collectively believe the new headquarters will give Avery County a model DSS complex that will further enhance and expand the already outstanding and model social services provided to our citizens.”