Jefferson County Jail Bids Over Budget, Project To Be ‘Value Engineered’

jailBROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Plans for renovations and additions at the Jefferson County Jail will need to be altered after inital bids for the work came in nearly $1 million over budget.

Jefferson County Development Director Bill Setree said on August 11 the lowest of the bids for each of four work areas were a combined $992,764 over the budget of $7,480,186.

Eight bids were received for the general construction contract, with Arcorn Contracting of New Kensington the low bidder at $4,784,000.

The low bid for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning work was from Hranec Sheet Metal of Uniontown at $854,650. Seven bids were received.

Five bids were received for plumbing work, with the low bid from Enders Plumbing and Heating of Kittanning at $1,071,300.

The low bid for electrical work was from Cox & Kanyuck Electric of Meadville at $1,763,000. Eight bids were received.

Craig Zimmerman of Crabtree and Rorhbaugh – the architects for the project – said there are always variables which affect bid projects on this type of project.

“In the last three or four months, work has been costing more than previously, and we’re not getting the same numbers we were before,” Zimmerman said.

With the bids over budget, Zimmerman said his firm will work to “value engineer” the project, meaning “we’re looking at trade offs” such as having fewer beds than previously planned or changing other options.

Commissioner Paul Corbin said the county will do what is necessary to make the project work.

“The ultimate goal is to get to that base number in our budget, and whatever it takes to get there is where we are headed. The project is in flux, and we’ll probably know within a couple of weeks how we’ll be looking to move forward,” Corbin said.

A study conducted by the county earlier this year found the current jail can’t meet future needs in terms of capacity for inmate housing. A plan was created for a facility to hold 243 beds.

The bids were opened August 4, but now that they’ve come in over budget, new bids may be necessary if the project changes significantly to save costs.

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