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Finance board approves contract for interior of new matrimonial courthouse 

The new family and matrimonial court building on

The new family and matrimonial court building on Feb. 3, 2020 in Mineola. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Nassau Interim Finance Authority on Tuesday night unanimously approved an $85.6 million contract for building the interior of the county's new Family and Matrimonial courthouse.

The contract, awarded to E & A Restoration Inc., of Syosset, is the largest spending agreement between the county and a vendor to gain NIFA approval in 2020. NIFA, created in June 2000, oversees the county's finances and must approve all contracts exceeding $5 million.

NIFA Chairman Adam Barsky said in a statement that the board would "keep a close watch over the project."

Upon learning of NIFA’s approval, Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said: “This is an important step forward for this long awaited project that will serve the public in a safe, caring and family-friendly environment.”

All five of the six board members present voted in favor. NIFA officials earlier Tuesday said they had not received opposition to the contract. 

The new court is the county's largest public works project since the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum was built in 1971. Newsday in March reported the county spending a total of $214.6 million, including $47 million in cost overruns, because expensive redesigns and disputes with contractors delayed work on the building. 

Construction on the project began in 2014, and county officials had originally hoped to open the new 255,000-square-foot building in late 2021 on Nassau's state Supreme Court campus located on the Mineola-Garden City border.

Nassau is renovating an existing building, formerly the headquarters of the county Social Services Department, for the new courthouse. The structure is gutted, and a new facade is in place. E & A would build out the interior of the building. 

Nassau County Inspector General Jodi Franzese questioned the "business integrity" of the company in a March report showing E & A Restoration Inc. did not disclose the identities of the top company officials when it bid on the contract.

The company and the county corrected the discrepancy, NIFA officials said, and the board was not requiring any specific restrictions on the contract as a result of the IG's findings.

E & A Restoration was the lowest bidder of seven for the project, which is expected to be completed in 18 months. 

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