The Fayette County Commissioners met with Sheriff Vernon Stanforth, representatives with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office and Shremshock Architects Inc. on Monday to discuss the contract for the new jail project.
“We went over the first part of the rough draft of the feasibility study, which is the study to determine what kind of jail we need,” commissioner chairman Dan Dean said. “We need to have something that will last us through at least 2045 before we have to consider expanding it. The architect still has some additional information they need, so they are coming back next Monday to meet with the county judges and get some more information from arrest reports to determine how long someone might be incarcerated on average.”
Dean said the parties did not sign the contract yet as a few details need to be finalized before it can be finished. Dan Drake, Fayette County assistant prosecutor, explained that the commissioners and himself want to see some more specified language concerning the jail as the current contract is more of a general outline than a site specific contract. Drake said his most important question concerns the cost.
How much is the architect providing service-wise and how much of cost will fall on the county?
Drake said currently they are not sure, but that it will take a little time before the architect will finalize the contract. Drake also said that the parties are discussing other topics within the contract, such as how the architect approaches their work in designing the building, what other attending structures will be needed with the jail, and insurance provisions and ownership of the design documents so if the county needs to rely on those in the future for other renovations, it can without additional fees.
“There are questions about how and when the design work will be completed, what the timetable is for that,” Drake said. “I know they submitted a very preliminary schedule for that. We would like to know what sort of time frame we are talking about in terms of various parts of the design. We want changes in the design to reflect that the county wants to have some certainty of what it is going to be responsible for. The county wants to know if there are design changes that will increase the cost. We want that to be known in advance so the county doesn’t stumble into a situation where some sort of design change requires a construction change and the cost goes up without the county being prepared to pay that additional cost.”
Drake stressed that the architect is experienced with these types of projects and will get started almost immediately on the needs assessment. Based on many aspects, the architect will use this assessment to continue with many of the finer points of the design process. According to Drake, the architect will determine important factors such as how many beds are needed, and use this information to help in the design process. It will help to determine size of the facility, important assets the jail will need to accommodate the population and will ultimately answer other pre-construction questions.
Daniel Imlay, the architect in charge of the jail design, said Tuesday the firm is not ready to begin releasing many details of the new jail as the project is still very early in development. He said they would like the needs assessment to be completed within a couple months and added it could be completed sooner. Imlay also complimented the commissioners and others who attended the meeting Monday, saying it was a real meeting of the minds.
Stay with the Record-Herald each week for more coverage of the Fayette County Commissioners.
Reach Martin Graham at 740-313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy