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Plans for jail, courthouse take shape

10/23/13 (Wed)

Expansion could cost county $10 million

By April Baumgarten

The Mercer County Courthouse and Jail expansion could cost upwards of $10 million.
County commissioners reviewed designed plans with Scott Fettig of Klein McCarthy Architects October 16 during a regular meeting in Stanton. The Bismarck company president said the project could be completed as early as November 2015.
“We have to remember why we are doing this,” Commissioner Bill Tveit said, referencing security and safety for the jail and courthouse.
The additions would connect the Law Enforcement Center to the Courthouse, making it easier to transfer prisoners from the jail to the courtroom.
The renovations would add additional parking space, storage, office space, jail space and another courtroom. The old courtroom would be used as the commission meeting room.
The subtotal for construction is slated for less than $6.99 million, but contingency rates could increase the price. Fettig was also concerned with finding a contractor.
“I’d rather come in and be honest with you and switch it with the high side and make those decisions together,” he said. “You can see in the contingency and location modifier that there is $2 million there that we really don’t know how much of that will be used.”
Increased building activity has cause estimates to go up, he said. That number can fluctuate depending on when the project is bid out. The architect added the group can modify plans to bring the price down.