Groundbreaking expected in June;
By KERRY CRAIG
Hopkins County commissioners chose experience over price Monday morning in selecting a construction manager-at-risk for construction of the new county jail.
Sedalco Construction Services of Fort Worth was selected to provide construction manager-at-risk services at a price of $1,179,000 based on a number of things, according to county commissioners.
The company's designated site manager is completing construction of his sixth jail, and the Hopkins County project will be his seventh. Sedalco was the only bidder to actually visit the proposed site for the new county jail.
The motion to employ Sedalco Construction Services was made by Commissioner Danny Evans.
“I am going to move that we contact Sedalco for employment with the understanding that they can meet our timeline to start when we need them to start,” Evans said. “Also, dependent upon our negotiation with them, we employ them.”
A second to the motion came from Commissioner Beth Wisenbaker, who also emphasized the company be ready to move in and begin construction within the county's proposed time frame. That means hopefully turning dirt on the site in June and completing the project 14 to 16 months later.
County Judge Robert Newsom said that in making the selection, the commissioners court focused more on quality than on price.
Other bidders for the construction manager-at-risk service were Harrison, Walker and Harper of Paris and J.E. Kingham Construction Co. of Nacogdoches.
Newsom also said the county would complete the purchase of property directly across Houston Street from the planned jail site today and he expects to close on the purchase of a parcel of property adjacent to the jail site at the corner of Houston and Rosemont streets later this week.
Monday morning's action, coming five months after voters approved a $16 million bond issue for a new jail, followed the fast-track concept set out by commissioners for the project.
The first $8 million in bonds was sold last December and the second $8 million sold in January in order to get the best interest rates possible.
The new jail, when should be completed in fall 2015, will replace a facility that has been a source of problems for the county for many years.
The current jail has been plagued with over-crowded conditions for a number of years, forcing the county to house overflow prisoners in Franklin, Titus, Hunt and Rains counties.
The current facility also has problems with obsolete electronic controls and safety equipment as well as other equipment, including the air conditioning systems.
Along with having the capacity to house more than 190 prisoners, the new building will include office space for a complete law enforcement center, a courtroom and an inmate medical facility.
Although county commissioners have made no decisions, some sections of the old jail could be used for secure storage of county records in a climate-controlled space.
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