The Madison County jail construction committee met last week to begin the process of formally gathering information to help them decide who will build the addition to the county jail.
Sheriff Kip Thomas, who was selected to serve as chairman of the committee, said he hopes construction can begin in summer/fall of 2014.
“We’d like to have it open ‘yesterday,’” Thomas said. “But we’re shooting for 2015.”
The 32-bed addition will be added to the current 64-bed existing structure, which was completed in 2003 after numerous construction setbacks.
The committee hopes to avoid similar issues this go round and wants to carefully select the contractor they will be working with.
“Hopefully the company we select this time will have built more than just Burger Kings,” committee member commissioner Stanley Thomas said, referring to the company who built the original jail, which has been plagued with numerous structural issues since it was completed.
Board of commission chairman Anthony Dove said his main concern is soil testing and drilling to make sure the site is stable for the new addition.
“I just want something that says it’s (the site) OK,” Dove said.
Project manager Wayne Wilbanks of Wilbanks Construction Consulting LLC recommended the group seek prices on doing a whole “pod” instead of the half-pod (32 beds) currently being planned.
Wilbanks said with construction costs continuing to rise, it would be wise to at least consider building the shell of the other half-pod while this project is being done.
The committee’s first step is to run an advertisement for an RFQ (Request for Qualifications). Once those are submitted and opened, Wilbanks said they will narrow the list of construction applicants to three or four and then have those companies submit RFPs (Request for Proposals), including their proposed schematic design, site logistics, safety plan, workman’s comp information, experience level and a bio of the main individuals involved. After that, Wilbanks said they should interview the final candidates face-to-face before making a final decision on what company gets the job.
The committee plans to make the qualifications packets due Jan. 10, 2014.