Sarpy County took another major step forward today in its plans to build a new jail.
The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved hiring JE Dunn Construction to serve as the project’s Construction Manager.
As the Construction Manager, JE Dunn will commit to a guaranteed maximum price for the construction of the jail.
“Left unchecked, the cost for construction projects can creep up until suddenly you’re paying 10 to 20 percent, or even 30 to 40 percent more than the original estimates. That could be millions of taxpayers’ dollars in a project the size of our jail. By hiring a construction manager, Sarpy County and the taxpayers are guaranteed a fair price that won’t grow,” said Sarpy County Board Chair Don Kelly.
JE Dunn will provide preconstruction services such as estimating, modeling, scheduling and quality assurance, then oversee the facility’s construction, which is scheduled to start in early 2021. The estimated cost for JE Dunn’s service is $4.9 million.
JE Dunn will work closely with DLR Group, the firm hired in December to design the new jail. It will be built in the parking lot of the existing jail facility on the Sarpy County Courthouse campus at 84th and Highway 370 in Papillion.
“Our current jail is overcrowded and out of compliance with state standards,” Kelly said. “As Sarpy County’s population continues to grow, overcrowding is only going to get worse. Partnering with JE Dunn and the DLR Group brings together two great companies who specialize in criminal justice design and construction, and we look forward to working with them on this important project.”
The jail has consistently exceeded capacity since the mid-1990s. This forces Sarpy County to transport inmates to other jurisdictions for boarding, which today costs Sarpy taxpayers half a million dollars each year. That amount is expected to continue to climb.
The new facility will be paid for with a portion of the county’s existing levy and with a portion of inheritance tax revenue. Together, those funding sources will allocate roughly $6 million per year toward the project, using 2019 property valuation figures.
Preliminary estimates put the cost of a new facility around $65-$70 million, which includes site preparation, design and construction. The new facility will have approximately 400 beds and include space to provide appropriate mental health care as well was programming and services to help inmates reintegrate into society, thus reducing recidivism.
Sarpy County hopes to open into the new facility in the fall of 2022.
“We’re working on an aggressive timeframe, but we’ve put a great team in place to accomplish that goal,” Kelly said. “Having a Construction Manager on board is key to starting construction, which the Board is eager to do.”
For more information and updates on Sarpy County’s new jail project, visit Sarpy.com/jail.