County hears jail project CMR hopefuls

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — Gallia Commissioners listened to Granger Construction and WAICG last Thursday in the Gallia Courthouse as both businesses seek to become the chief construction manager-at-risk for the building of a new Gallia Jail.

Granger Construction said its strengths were in corrections building specialization as it was part of six ongoing other corrections facility construction projects throughout Ohio. WAICG said while this would be its first jail construction project, were it chosen by the county, its strengths lay in having ties with local subcontractors and having worked on a variety of large public building projects. Both have said they would attempt to hire as many local crews as possible. Granger said specialists in certain forms of construction may need contacted from outside the area given the nature of specialization in corrections build projects and the company’s focus on such specialties.

Gallia Commissioner David Smith said that due to legal framework of utilizing a construction manager-at-risk, a committee of himself, County Administrator Karen Sprague and Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin were overseeing the proposals of each business and would make a recommendation to the entirety of the Gallia Board of Commissioners on who they felt should serve as the construction manager-at-risk. The entirety of the Gallia Commissioners will then vote to decide which organization will be chosen as construction manager-at-risk. Both Gallia Commissioners Harold Montgomery and Brent Saunders were present to hear proposals, Thursday.

The construction manager-at-risk gives proposals on project specifics and gets quotes from subcontractors and puts a concrete cost together for what the company thinks the expenses of the jail construction project will be, said commissioners. The organization oversees subcontractors and the build of a project while checking in with the commissioners, architects and design teams of the project.

Jail plans discussed at a previous meeting said that the current first floor area of the jail could be around 18,380 square feet with the second floor measuring around 15,000 square feet. The second floor mezzanine area of the jail would allow for 3,550 square feet. Total square footage of the project would be around 36,930.

Rated beds for the facility could include 110 beds in five-cell dorm style housing units with 32 beds in three-cell style housing units for a general population total of 142 beds. Holding cells would include two, four-bed cells; four, two-bed cells; four, one-bed cells and two special custody cells with a total bed count of 18. Adding the two together, the Gallia facility could potentially have a total of 160 beds.

Commissioners have favored what is called an indirect podular remote design for housing inmates. Such a facility has a central monitoring security and control station to cut down on correction officer numbers and allows for a maximum view of all inmate areas. Inmate areas circle the station, which would control all cell locks. Examples of holding areas displayed during the meeting included a ground floor series of cells along with an upper floor mezzanine area with more cells stacked atop the first. The central security station would monitor both sets of cells.

A current analysis done by DLZ of correctional staff with the county reportedly numbered around 20 employees maintaining Gallia Jail needs. Should the new facility operate at ideal targets, 8.25 additional staff may be needed according to the current B1 plans the architects have proposed.

Commissioners have estimated the cost of the jail’s construction could be between $10 million and $15 million.

By Dean Wright