As the planning and design of the new Franklin County Adult Detention Center progresses, county officials are getting a firsthand look at the facility without ever leaving their desks.
The use of new technology has allowed both designers and users to immerse themselves into any given room at the new facility.
With the simple click of a mouse or motion of a cellphone viewers can have a 360-degree look at the room.
A link to these new 360-degree jail renderings can be found on The Missourian website at www.emissourian.com.
Presiding Commissioner Tim Brinker says the ease of use and viewing has been invaluable as the design phase ends.
“We got the first batch last week,” Brinker said. “Not only can we see layouts and color patterns, we can see how designs would change in real time. It certainly beats getting it built and then realizing it’s not what we want or need. It saves a lot of time and money.”
He added being able to visualize the new designs in this format gives a better concept of how much the renovations will expand the size of the existing spaces.
“Space has always been at a premium for both the staff and the guests of the county,” Brinker said. “The jail hit a new capacity record last weekend with 203 inmates.”
Brinker said the use of technology like this was one of the main selling factors when the county hired FGM Architects to take over the jail design project in June.
Initial designs on the $30 million jail/911 expansion and renovation were started by Chiodini Architects, but the county fired that firm after about a year and a half after conflict arose regarding building codes.
The decision was reached after Chiodini refused to budge on designs that would meet 2018 earthquake codes and potentially add nearly $5 million to the $30.8 million project.
In addition to the use of technology, Brinker said the decision to fast track the bidding of the $6.6 million security component package could be the key to the overall success of the project.
The company that produces the new cells wanted by the county is in high demand and if the county had waited until next month to bid it would have been at the end of a long list of other facilities wanting the specialty products.
By focusing on getting those particular drawings and bid packages early, the county has guaranteed it will receive the top-quality products and save money in the process.
“The overall project is about $200,000 under budget thus far,” Brinker said. “By bidding that as a separate package, we could realize savings of as much as $825,000 by project end.”
Brinker said the county is very pleased with the decision to hire FGM and the ongoing partnership with Navigate Building Solutions, has been very productive.
“We couldn’t be happier,” Brinker said. “Especially now that numbers are coming in lower than projected and the overall progress is ahead of schedule.”
As March arrives, so does the next phase of the jail project.
Within the next 30 days, all bid documents, including specifications for every detail from light fixtures to doors and windows for the jail, will be finalized and presented for potential bidders.
Beginning in April and throughout May, Navigate, FGM and county officials will pore over the dozens of bids that are expected from numerous companies and contractors, looking to profit from the building project.
This process may take some time due to the very specific needs of a jail, 911 communications and emergency operations center which will be more stringent and technical than an average office building.
Construction on the facility is expected to begin in late May and be completed by winter of 2020 and finishing touches into spring of 2021.
Late last year, the county took on a $10 million construction bond, which is the first of two expected for the project.
The construction management firm Navigate Building Solutions will make about $2.1 million for its services to the end of the project in 2021.
Between August 2017 and August 2018, the county has paid consulting firm Navigate Building Solutions $79,943.
From July to December 2018, the county paid Navigate $60,906 per month, totaling $395,885.
According to county documents, FGM Architects was paid $218,612 per month from July to December 2018.
The county has a permanent revenue stream in place to pay back the construction notes.
In April 2017, residents approved a half-cent Proposition P sales tax expected to generate $6 million per year in additional revenue.
The monies will be split equally with $3 million each year going toward the jail/911 renovations and the other $3 million funding law enforcement salaries.
According to preliminary figures, the $3 million in annual Prop P funds for the jail will be divided into $2.4 million toward bond payment, $300,000 for new jail staff and the additional $300,000 will go toward 911 communications needs.
These figures will fluctuate annually with the ebb and flow of sales tax collections.