The Rice County Board of Commissioners meeting as a Committee of the Whole Tuesday discussed how to move forward in the construction process for a new Jail/Law Enforcement Center.
Land acquisition has not happened yet. Rice County Parks and Facilities Department Director Matthew Verdick tells KDHL they are currently negotiating for property on which to locate the new approximately $50 million dollar facililty. That cost is supposed to include the land purchase.
During Tuesday’s meeting District 4 Commissioner Steve Underdahl shared his construction business knowledge explaining the differences between construction management and design-build.
Underdahl says, “Construction management really started to come out in the late 60’s and early 70’s. My degree is in Construction Management. When I went to school it was just a whole new concept out there. Construction management has probably taken 50 percent or greater share of the market. Both in public and private.”
Underdahl added, “Contract packages are smaller and it does enable potentially more of our local contractors to bid on it. Electricians, plumbers, excavators would have at least an opportunity to bid on it. Those are my thoughts on it.”
Commissioner Jim Purfeerst said he liked the idea of hiring local contractors. “I think it benefits the people within our county and I like the team idea. Matt showed us different examples of what’s been built here. I think the team group setting would probably help lower some of the bigger items that are probably included in the project that aren’t necessary. I think this construction management idea is probably the way to go in my mind.”
Verdick stated he agreed, “I was kinda thinking the design-build first but after doing research I agree construction management advisors is the way to go. I would say the board still has a lot of control, impact on it and I would like to add opporunity for local contractors to be part of this project as well.”
Commissioners don’t take a formal vote during their work sessions but the matter will more than likely come up at the next regularly scheduled County Board of Commissioners Meeting where a vote will be cast.
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