MARQUETTE - A Dickinson County firm that previously developed options for expansion at the Marquette County Jail has been hired to create a new plan for jail bed expansion at the facility, with county officials eyeing bidding of the project late this year.
The Marquette County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to pay Gundlach Champion Inc. of Iron Mountain $11,900 to develop a plan for increasing the number of beds at the jail. Work on the plan is expected to begin immediately and be completed in six to eight weeks.
The company developed a proposal anticipating 12 to 18 additional beds are needed to ease overcrowding at the jail and the Mangum Farm detention center. The county hopes to close the center after the jail expansion occurs.
A cot lies on the floor where one of the inmates had to sleep overnight due to a lack of cells at the Marquette County Jail in 2007, the same year a Dickinson County firm hired Tuesday by the county to produce a new plan for jail expansion had generated a previous study of the problem. (Journal file photo)
"Since Gundlach Champion completed a multiple option jail report in 2007, it is felt that it would be more cost-effective and efficient to seek a proposal from Gundlach Champion, rather than develop a request for proposals for this service, given the interest of the county board to be in a position to bid a project in late 2014 or early 2015," Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch said in a memo recommending the board hire the firm.
Erbisch said the county board's Space Needs Committee thinks a proposal from Gundlach Champion meets the goals and objectives previously pronounced by the county board. In December, the board passed a motion asking the committee to seek a proposal to design a plan for a buildout of the existing jail facility.
Gundlach Champion President James Ebli sent a letter to Erbisch Feb. 10 outlining what the firm's proposal would and would not include.
"Building off the previous study we performed in 2007, we have assembled a team of experts to evaluate and prepare recommendations for the board to consider as they look to the future needs of the county," Ebli wrote.
Ebli said the team would include Gundlach Champion as the design-builder, providing estimates and scheduling information. Landmark Group Design would provide architectural design and Michigan Department of Corrections compliance and Integrated Design, Inc. would provide civil, structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical design.
The team will revisit the previous study and retrieve information useful to current and future planning. Members would meet with the sheriff, jail staff and others to review current needs.
A graduated plan would be produced for addition, expansion, renovation or a combination and architectural plans would be generated for each option; evaluating mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems and with cost and scheduling for each option.
The firm would prepare a schematic design package summarizing the information produced and that information would be presented to the county board or its building committee.
Services not included in the plan would be determination of hazardous substances; topographic or boundary surveys; construction drawings or bid documents, which Ebli said he assumed would be completed in the next phase of the project.
The county board waived its purchasing policy to approve the administrator's recommendation.