Inmate labor helps save $53K on Civic Center project

As the project to renovate the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center progresses, County Executive Bob Culver thanked county staff for saving taxpayers more than $53,000 on just one project, by capitalizing on county employee expertise and inmate labor from the Wicomico County Department of Corrections.

Part of the project to renovate and upgrade the Civic Center involved adding electric to the lower seating sections in the Normandy Arena so they could be pulled out or retracted, in a timelier manner. What once took six staff members almost eight hours now will take two staffers only about two hours.

The project to overhaul the seating sections was estimated to cost almost $65,000, but county officials decided the job could be done in house for much less.

With oversight by Will Preneta, Facility Manager and his maintenance team at the Wicomico County Department of Corrections, the project was completed for less than $11,500, including staff labor costs.

With the new electric risers in place, the Civic Center will now be able to turn around events much quicker, and book back-to-back events that previously had been impossible due to the time it took to prepare the arena.

“I have encouraged my department heads to look for ways to do projects in house to save taxpayer dollars,” Culver said. “I’m proud of our team. Looking internally for cost savings will continue to serve this county well on so many different projects. I am excited about the future of our civic center with all of the good things happening over there right now.”

The $3.4 million renovation project is expected to be completed in early 2017. The renovations will include new seating in the Normandy Arena, along with a new paint scheme, new hand rails, and polish and sealing the floors.

In the public areas of the civic center, which includes the hallways and the meeting rooms, renovations will include new ceiling systems, new flooring, new paint schemes, new lighting fixtures, and upgrades to the building’s internal network that serves computers, digital signage and cameras.

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