Douglas County Commission approves construction managers for jail expansion, behavioral health housing

photo by: TreanorHL via Douglas County/Contributed Image

This design plan, first shared with the Douglas County Commission on Jan. 16, 2019, shows options of adding a south tower and a separate wing for re-entry programming at the Douglas County Jail.

The Douglas County Commission at its meeting Wednesday approved bids from Mar Lan Construction and Turner Construction to serve as construction managers at risk for housing portions of the behavioral health campus and an expansion of the Douglas County Jail, respectively.

Mar Lan, the low bid, will complete preconstruction services for behavioral health housing for $5,000.

Turner, the high bid for the jail expansion, will charge $42,000 for that project’s preconstruction services.

Commission Vice Chair Patrick Kelly asked Interim County Administrator Sarah Plinsky to clarify why she recommended the high bid for the jail expansion.

More background

June 11, 2019: Douglas County Commission to vote on construction managers for jail expansion, behavioral health housing

“Turner is one of the nation’s leaders in designing and constructing jail expansion facilities,” Plinsky said.

She noted that the two other firms were smaller and had different experience. Universal Construction had built the original jail, she said, and Loyd Builders had built some smaller facilities. She said she thought Turner’s bid was “more appropriate,” considering the amount of preconstruction work left to do on the project.

In her memo in the commission’s meeting agenda, she also wrote that Treanor Architects, the design firm behind proposed expansion plans, also recommended Turner.

The commission voted in February to use the construction manager at risk method, or CMR, instead of the traditional design-bid-build method, for both the jail expansion and planned housing for the behavioral health campus, which will be constructed at Second and Maine streets along with a crisis intervention center.

With the CMR method, the county contracts with one construction manager who manages all subcontractors and provides a guaranteed maximum price for a project. Plinsky has said the method could increase the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of the projects.

The commission’s decision on the bids do not constitute final approval of any projects. Project budgets will return to the commission when they are complete.

In other news:

June 12, 2019: Douglas County commissioners approve Lawrence Community Shelter’s $148K request

Contact Mackenzie Clark

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