After a slight hiccup, the expansion and renovation of the Franklin County Jail and 911 Center is back on track.
On Tuesday, the county commission selected FGM Architects to pick up where the previous architectural firm left off on designing the facility and getting the project back on its aggressive time line.
First District Commissioner Tim Brinker said the firm comes with a wealth of experience designing detention and similar facilities and one of the team members even worked on the federal Guantanamo Bay facility holding alleged war criminals in Cuba.
“After seeing their (FGM) presentation, it tells us 100 percent we made the right choice,” Brinker said. “The technology and communications they are bringing to the project is very impressive. I’m very confident in what they’ll bring to Franklin County.”
Brinker said the official contract with FGM should be approved at the Tuesday, July 3, commission meeting and at that time the firm will begin reviewing past design plans.
In the presentation given Tuesday, FGM listed a project time line from this point forward, which mimics very closely the original schedule set by previous design firm Chiodini Architects.
That firm was terminated from the project on May 23, grinding forward progress to a standstill for more than a month.
Brinker said he has been assured the brief pause will not change the project completion times.
“It’s not about what has to be done right now,” Brinker said. “It’s really about what we have to have done right. These guys are top-shelf professionals and ready to go.”
According to its presentation materials, FGM plans to revisit and verify Phase 1 of the project completed by Chiodini and is the property of Franklin County, by July 27.
It plans on presenting a preliminary renovation design narrative to the city of Union by Aug. 17 and have it approved by Aug. 31.
Schematic designs should be completed by early October and bidding documents should be available by mid-December.
Bidding should be completed by May of 2019 and overall construction completed by August 2020.
A major sticking point with previous architect Chiodini was the addition of $4.6 million in earthquake upgrades that would have increased the project cost over the $30 million mark, which was originally sold to voters.
The additional costs would be necessary if the new structures were built to 2018 building codes, which are expected to be adopted by the city of Union in January.
In its proposal, FGM acknowledges the proposed construction costs and that they are tied to the April 2018 referendum.
It also acknowledges its payment for services will be $2.1 million over the course of the next two and a half years.
A kickoff meeting is tentatively scheduled for July 7 and Brinker confirmed all parties involved are arranging their schedules to accommodate that date.