Progress made on jail project

Jordan Beck | Daily Press The new Delta County Correctional Facility, which is currently under construction, is pictured. Since ground was broken in August 2017, significant progress has been made towards completion.

ESCANABA — Since ground was broken on the new Delta County Correctional Facility in August 2017, significant progress has been made towards this project’s completion. The new correctional facility will be located at the Delta County Service Center.

Currently, site work, footings, steel wall erection, roofing, selected demolition, and underground mechanical, electrical, and plumbing work for the new facility are all either complete or nearly complete. Over the next few months, work on interior masonry, insulation, and concrete flooring will take place.

Delta County Administrator Ryan Bergman said some of the most important parts of the new facility will be sent to Escanaba next month.

“We have the (prefabricated) steel cells arriving via train in March to put into place,” he said.

Above-ground plumbing, mechanical, and electrical work will take place throughout the project’s duration. Work related to flooring, painting, drywall, windows, fencing, and finishing the project will take place later this year.

Work on a new holding cell at the Delta County Courthouse is expected to begin in May and continue for two months. This cell is being installed at the courthouse as a temporary holding space for inmates before and after court appearances.

So far, the county has paid $4 million to contractors and subcontractors for the correctional facility project. According to Bergman, 5 percent of the $500,000 contingency budget for the project has been spent.

“We’re actually a little bit under budget for the project,” he said.

He also noted while the project was originally expected to be completed in mid-November 2018, Miron Construction (the construction manager for the project) has since revised this timeframe.

“Now, they’re shooting for October,” Bergman said. Public tours of the correctional facility are expected to take place this fall before prisoner transport begins.

According to Bergman, this was made possible by the county’s prioritization of timeliness and frugality on the correctional facility project.

“We want to be good (stewards) of taxpayer dollars,” he said.

A team of three corrections officers, led by Lieutenant Jason Thibeault of the Delta County Sheriff’s Department, is in place at the site for the new correctional facility as owner’s representatives.

“(They’re) overseeing day-to-day … construction decisions,” Bergman said.

The team is also preparing for the transition to the new correctional facility. Thibeault said his team is working to develop and implement an operational plan for the new facility, teach staff members how to operate the facility, and anticipate and resolve any potential issues with the facility before it is occupied.

“That’s what our goal is,” he said.

Thibeault said the new jail will be a substantial improvement from the current Delta County Correctional Facility.

“It’s going to be a state-of-the-art facility,” he said.