County reviewing jail bids

BROOKINGS – Brookings County Commissioners were presented a guaranteed maximum price of $15,093,303 for the Brookings County Jail expansion project last week. 

Bids were submitted to the county beginning July 9 and reviewed July 21.

Henry Carlson Construction is the official contractor for the project, and BKV Group is the architect. Chairman of Henry Carlson, Dave Derry, said at the meeting that there is also a $439,611 contingency built into the budget for “any unforeseen (issues)” presented during construction.

Chad Nelson and Mike Ralston of Henry Carlson were both at the meeting as well; Nelson is the senior project manager for the jail expansion project, and Ralston is in charge of preconstruction services.

“We received approximately 84 bids on a total of 36 packages,” Derry said. “Once we see the bids, Mike and Chad have spent a lot of time with what we call ‘scoping,’ or ‘equalizing,’ and that is going through bid-by-bid, calling the bidders back and making sure that the bids we’re accepting are in compliance with the documents and that they are complete.”

“We have recommended the lowest responsible bid in every division, and those numbers are carried over to the summary sheet,” Derry said. “The bids were received on July 9 … the bids are good for 45 days, and so essentially our (guaranteed maximum price) is good until Aug. 21; at the end of 45 days, our bidders would have the right to withdraw a bid.”

Nelson said the current schedule is to take 20 months in total for construction. Originally the start date for the jail was Aug. 10 and would finish in the spring of 2022. Due to COVID-19 and the lawsuit between the City of Brookings and the County over the jail, there is the potential for the start date to be pushed back.

Commission Department Director Stacy Steffensen said the money the County has set aside for the project thus far is roughly $2 million short, with the jail cost plus additional changes and “soft cost estimates” totaling $17.3 million.

Commission Chair Mike Bartley said officials are vetting through the adjustments to make sure the total cost is being used as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Derry said that “almost $1.6 million is for local contractors.”

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Contact Matthew Rhodes at [email protected]


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