County to seek bids on Silver City schoolhouse |

County to seek bids on Silver City schoolhouse

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Saying the residents of Silver City have waited long enough, Lyon County commissioners announced they will begin the process of rebuilding the Schoolhouse community center immediately.

They said they are also considering legal action against the county’s third-party insurance carrier, Lloyds of London.

The commissioners directed staff to seek contracts to replace the historic building and to prepare for possible legal action against Lloyds of London. The legal discussions will take place in closed session at the meeting Nov. 2.

“We need to quit screwing around with this and take the bull by the horns and build the damn thing,” said Commission Chairman Bob Milz.

Dual bids will be solicited from construction companies: one as an insurance company building replacement and the other as a public works project.

District Attorney Leon Aberasturi explained that if taxpayer dollars are used, the rebuilding would be considered a public works project and legally must pay prevailing wage. As an insurance company rebuilding, that wouldn’t be necessary, he said.

A bid is expected to be selected at the commission’s Dec. 7 meeting.

Aberasturi will also prepare a legal plan for possible action against Lloyds of London, or ASC Business Insurance Services Inc., of Sparks, which manages the claim for Lloyds.

The fire July 7, 2004, was believed to be caused by sparks from soldering torches used by county workers who were installing an air conditioning unit. Immediately after the fire, Silver City residents formed committees and did an archaeological dig at the site to speed up the rebuilding process.

The county hired Cathexes Inc., a Reno-based architectural firm, to design the new building to Comstock Historic District standards.

Comptroller Josh Foli assured the commissioners there was enough surplus in the general fund to get started building the schoolhouse.

He added that the Silver City project would have no impact on the completion of the Silver Springs Senior Center, which is under construction, because the senior center was being built with funds from the building maintenance fund.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.