The Sarpy County Board of Commissioners today approved a resolution to lock in the construction costs for the county’s new correctional center at $69.4 million. JE Dunn, the construction manager for the project, has committed to building the facility for a guaranteed maximum price.
“Building a correctional center in a way that protects the public’s money has been one of our top objectives throughout this process,” said County Board Chairman Don Kelly. “With a guaranteed maximum price, we know what the final construction cost will be and we can avoid additional expenses from change orders and other unforeseen costs.”
The county expects an additional $10.5 million in expenses for architectural engineering, permits, utility extension fees, and furniture and fixtures for the facility, bringing the total cost of the project to $79.9 million.
The county will not need to raise the levy to pay for construction or operational costs, according to the county’s current financial analysis. Construction will be covered by Sinking and Inheritance Tax funds, which the county has set aside for years, American Rescue Plan Act funds and bonds. Sarpy County’s Fiscal & Budget Office is estimating the annual debt service payment on the bonds will be $2.9 million, which will be paid with a portion of the county’s existing levy.
“This is an important project, and the fact we don’t have to raise property taxes to pay for it is a testament to the County Board’s fiscally conservative approach to budgeting,” Commissioner David Klug said. “We appreciate all of the due diligence and efforts of the county's planning team, our Fiscal & Budget staff and our design and construction partners. The new facility is going to meet the county’s needs now and far into the future.”
The 150,000-square-foot facility is designed to house 362 inmates and will have a dedicated behavioral health unit, secure courtroom and video arraignment areas, and space for educational and rehabilitative programming. The design includes areas for future expansion.
The new facility will sit on the northeast corner of 84th Street and Highway 370, which is currently a parking lot for the existing Sarpy County jail and the Sarpy County Courthouse. To accommodate construction and the loss of the parking spaces, several county services have moved to the Sarpy County 1102 Building at 1102 E. 1st Street in Papillion. All court-related functions, however, remain at the Sarpy Courthouse Campus at 84th Street and Highway 370.
Construction on the correctional center site will start within days and is expected to last until fall 2022.