Logan County Judge Ray Gack got a number last week. It was the projected cost of building a new, 100-bed Logan County Detention Center and sheriff’s office in Paris, based on bids that were opened on May 18.
The number given Gack was $13.8 million — $800,000 more than the county has to spend and $3.8 million more than the $10 million Gack wants the facility built for.
“The original bids came in at $13.8 million. They cut some things and got it down to $12.4 million,” Gack said. “That’s still more than what I wanted. So, we’re going to do a redesign to get it down to what we told people it would cost. We told people we could do it for $10 million and that’s what I want it down to.”
So, it’s back to the drawing board, literally.
After consulting with the Quorum Court’s jail committee last Thursday, Gack has asked for a redesign of the facility with a goal of getting construction cost down to $10 million.
The county is building a new jail because the present facility, located on Grober Street in Paris and built in the 1980s, has consistently been cited for violations of jail standards, ruled overcrowded, understaffed and unsafe. Last July, voters approved a 1 percent increase in county sales taxes. The tax receipts will allow issuing up to $13 million in bonds to build and maintain a new facility. In November, $10 million in bonds were sold.
Gack outlined the design changes he hopes will get the cost down to $10 million. However, it’s not known if the design changes will do that because the entire project will have to be rebid, Gack said.
“We’re going to remove the top story on the jail and the courtroom inside the building as a way to cut costs,” Gack said. “They’re now redrawing the plans. It shouldn’t take too long.”
The original plans called for a two-story jail and a one story sheriff’s office.
“But, we’re going to have to rebid it because we’ve removed a story,” Gack said. “I think those changes will get the cost down to where we said it would be.”
Of course, the redesign and rebid will take some time, Gack said.
“We’re going to have to readvertise for bids and hopefully we can get some new bidders,” Gack said. “We’ll also have to do new bid packages. Hopefully we can open bids sometime in July and break ground soon after. Maybe six to eight weeks from now.”
Removing the second story from the jail and the courtroom will cut about 11,000 square feet from the project. The facility was originally going to be 41,000 square feet and will be 30,000 square after the redesign.
On May 18, bids were taken on 30 facets of the construction project — everything from cells, concrete work, security and fire suppression features, heating and air conditioning systems, communication equipment down to the dishes and kitchen utensils.
After that, the project construction manager, Circle M Construction Management of Ratcliff, went through the bids to qualify bidders and come up with an estimate of costs.
Preparation work on the South Lowder Street site where the facility will be built has been underway since late last year. Gack has said he hopes the facility can be completed in a couple of years.