The total cost of the new Aiken County Complex is guaranteed by contractor KBR Building Group not to exceed $37.6 million.

Construction manager-at risk Danny Mullis presented the figure to County Council Tuesday, and a resolution setting the number as the guaranteed maximum price (GMP) was later unanimously approved.

The figure is $160,000 more than what the estimated total project cost was, according to County Administrator Clay Killian, but cuts have already been identified that are certain to lower the guaranteed price.

For instance, he said, furniture, fixtures and equipment expenses have not been set. Those expenditures are likely to bring down the total price “pretty substantially.”

Plus, the project team has incentives written into its contract to get the total cost down below $37.6 million.

The 130,000-square-foot complex on University Parkway is expected to be complete in February 2014. The project is being funded with a mixture of Capital Projects Sales Tax money and general obligation bonds.

Work has been under way at the site since July. Mullis said the building's steel will arrive at the site today, and the building will begin to be erected soon.

Design drawings by architects McMillan Pazdan Smith show the complex with a three-story front elevation facing University Parkway, but a two-story rear elevation facing Lincoln Avenue. Lincoln Avenue borders the back of the property.

The exterior schematics show a brick facade, a clock tower cupola, stately columns, a ground-level entrance and two curving stairways leading up to a second-floor entrance.

County government has operated on Richland Avenue W., in what is commonly known as the old Aiken County hospital, for close to 40 years.