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Construction manager picked for jail

| August 25, 2004 12:00 AM

By Brent Shrum, Western News Reporter

TW Clark Construction of Spokane has been selected to serve as construction manager for a project to expand and remodel Lincoln County¹s jail.

The task force organized two years ago to work on the jail issue met last week with representatives from Clark and two other firms responding to the county¹s advertisements for a construction manager. Clark was selected over Swank Enterprises of Kalispell and TLC Engineering of Libby.

Clark has worked on a number of local projects including the remodeling and expansion of St. John¹s Lutheran Hospital.

Representatives of the firm indicated that the project can be done for less than $1 million, but how much less remains to be seen, said Lincoln County Commissioner Rita Windom.

³They will be working with us for the next few months to figure out how best to cut the cost and bring it in at something the county can afford,² she said.

The project was originally slated for this fall but is now scheduled to go out for bids in the spring. The county chose to seek a construction manager for the project after bids from contractors came in at double the anticipated project cost earlier this summer.

A construction manager will not be bound by the stringent specifications in the original bid package and will be able to negotiate various aspects of the project with subcontractors, Windom said.

Changes to the specifications would need to be cleared with the architect for the project, Windom said.

In June, the county received four bids for the jail project ranging from about $1.1 million to $1.25 million. The project had been estimated by the architectural firm L¹Heureux Page Werner at around $600,000.

Located in the courthouse basement, the jail is designed for 25 to 30 inmates but has housed up to 42. The renovation is designed to meet security and safety needs while adding additional space and putting off the construction of a new facility, estimated at around $4.5 million.

The task force had initially considered a simpler remodel estimated at around $300,000 but eventually decided on a more extensive project.

The design includes an addition to the north end of the jail along with some remodeling within the existing facility. Four new cells would be added with two beds each. A holding cell and a padded cell would also be added, each with a capacity of one inmate. An option for double bunking in five existing single cells would allow the jail¹s capacity to be expanded by up to 15 additional inmates after the renovation.

The addition would include a new covered secure entryway leading to a booking area. A new control room would allow central electronic control of doors within the facility. Showers would be installed in all cells that don¹t currently have them, improving security.

As part of the same project, the dispatch center adjacent to the jail will also be remodeled to improve efficiency and security.

The county has secured a $500,000 loan from a state fund to partially finance the project.