County commission votes to dismiss architect firm

St. Joseph County is moving forward with dismissing the architect firm overseeing renovation of the county courts building.

The move came by virtue of a 4-3 vote during last week’s county commission meeting. The decision means county administrator Teresa Cupp will work with the county’s legal team to terminate the contract with TowerPinkster.

The company had been providing architectural services related to the $7.7 million courts building overhaul. The vote also means the project could take a step back by a number of months, as county officials will have to re-bid architectural services.

Tuesday’s vote to dismiss TowerPinkster was supported by commissioners Rusty Baker, Terry Conklin and Jared Hoffmaster, while board chair Ken Malone cast the tire-breaking vote.

During the commission’s executive committee meeting Feb. 13 and again at last week’s board meeting, extensive discussion centered on recurring delays by TowerPinkster specific to the planning process. Lack of communication was also at the core of issues expressed by county officials.

The county is on the hook for about $140,000 owed to TowerPinkster.

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