Jail complex cost goes up

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By Jennifer Garcia

A divided council voted on several motions concerning the Judicial/Police/Jail Complex - adding to the cost of the project.

And Councilor Vincent Chiravalle seized the moment to blast the project.

“This building is a monstrosity and an example of excess in government,” he told those gathered in council chambers for the Tuesday night meeting.

Following a presentation by  Capital Projects and Facilities Director Anne Laurent, the council voted on various items of the project.

The first motion was for the approval of an amendment to an agreement authorizing HB Construction to move forward with phase 3 of the project. The motion passed 6-1, with Councilor Robert Gibson voting against it.

The second item was a motion designating currently unassigned space within the existing police building for the purpose of establishing a staging area for records management.

That motion also passed, this time 4-3. Councilors Robert Gibson, Nona Bowman and Chiravalle voted against it.

The third item was to approve a revision to the floor finish of the stairs in the court’s main entry lobby to be granite in lieu of tile for an added cost of $14,165. That motion passed 6-1, with Chiravalle voting no.

The last item councilors voted on was to approve the deletion of the wood veneer wall finish within the courtrooms and hearing room and replace it with a wood laminate finish for a reduction of $13,900. That motion failed 3-4, with Chair Michael Wheeler, Council Vice Chair Mike Wismer, Bowman and Gibson voting against it.

Four issues concerning the Guaranteed Maximum Price #3 were presented to council by Laurent.

She talked about the work that has been done on the JPJ Complex under GMP #2. She said the additional motion regarding the unassigned space would add money to a fourth GMP.

“The proposal is to use it as a staging area for records management,” she said. “We’re in the process of separating out what’s truly records and what’s stuff.”

Laurent’s presentation showed the design of the area in the existing police building is appropriate for either a record management staging area or clerk’s office election storage (voting machines and materials currently stored at the County Annex).

In addition, some of the challenges with using this space for storage are:

• 8,000 square feet of records and department storage at the Annex site is in the process of being consolidated to approximately 4,500 square feet.

• An additional 1,000 square feet of election storage also needs to be relocated from the Annex.

• More and more records stored in work areas are being identified as the record manager visits with each department.

• There is room at the ABS site for 14 storage pods, approximately 4,500 square feet, however, the estimated cost is $250,000 and does not provide appropriate workspace to sort the records nor does it provide ADA accessibility for the clerk.

The PowerPoint presentation further outlined the reasons for this proposed solution:

Records and storage need good climate control; appropriate structure to handle the floor loads; appropriate fire rating construction; ADA accessibility; JPJ is a building the county will have in its facilities inventory for a very long time; the trades area is already mobilized and on site; all other solutions are investments in temporary solutions, this one will stand for many future uses.

Following Laurent’s presentation, Chiravalle asked her if PDFs would be made and the actual documents discarded.

Assistant County Administrator Diane Stepan responded to Chiravalle’s question.

“We’ll be digitizing them. We’re weeding through old documents and determining what we need,” she said.