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Official pegs jail cost at $5 million

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Steven Riley and Scott Lundberg of Prochaska & Associates presented a drawing of the proposed jail to commissioners Monday.
(Courtesy graphic)
McCOOK, Nebraska -- Red Willow County, Nebraska, county commission chairman said Monday morning that he does not expect a proposed 24-bed county jail and law enforcement facility to cost more than $5,073,850.

Earl McNutt said during a weekly meeting of the commissioners Monday morning that the county has money set aside now for the acquisition and demolition of one more property north of the courthouse in McCook, so those costs are not included in what is still a very preliminary proposed jail construction budget.

Architects from Prochaska & Associates of Omaha said that construction costs are estimated at $4,336,620 and "soft costs" and projected overhead are estimated at $737,230, for a total of $5,073,850.

Shad McClain of Twin Rivers Testing & Environmental of North Platte, Nebraska, bores soil samples at the northeast corner of the Red Willow County courthouse in McCook, Nebraska, Monday afternoon. County commissioners need a geotechnical engineering report on the land north of the courthouse upon which they may build a jail and law enforcement facility.
(Connie Jo Discoe/McCook Daily Gazette)
Schematic drawings presented by Steven Riley and Scott Lundberg of Prochaska & Associates show that the jail area covers 10,563 square feet; the sheriff's offices and entry/lobby, 3,628 square feet; and roof mechanical area, 1,410 square feet.

Riley and Lundberg presented the refined schematic design drawings and floor plans, site plan and exterior views of the facility Monday. Riley told commissions that if they're on schedule, they can break ground in July 2012 and have a completed facility by September 2013.

Commissioners have not given Prochaska representatives the authority to move onto the next step, that of construction documents. Nebraska Jail Standards must approve the process at the end of the schematic design review, Riley said.

Approval of the schematic designs does not mean authorization and/or approval of jail construction, he said. There are no full-blown bidding documents, Riley said.

Lundberg said they have added screening devices to the original plan to shield the public's view of prisoners walking to and from the jail to the courthouse. The schematic design now shows how the front of the law enforcement facility lines up with the first floor of the courthouse.

The pod layout of the jail includes cells for woman out of sight and sound of men's cells, and cells for prisoners with handicaps and special medical needs. The jail cells are brought onto the site fully-fabricated to include showers, toilets and bunks.

"They're nothing plush, nothing fancy," Riley said.

The jail area of the facility includes video visiting rooms, a kitchen, a laundry and property storage.

Riley urged people "not to get hung up on the brick color" for the exterior, as nothing is final, and he showed drawings with both dark- and light-colored bricks. "There's an infinite number of brick colors you can use," he said. "That's not a variable we need to lock onto right now."

The jail's exterior walls have no slit windows and not bars on the windows.

"There is no indication from the outside that it's a jail," Riley said.

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