County Commission approves Construction Engineers to take on jail, juvenile detention center project

Bids were turned in to Tom Ford, director of administration for Grand Forks County. Three bids were received, and a selection committee unanimously recommended Construction Engineers to take it on.

The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
The Grand Forks County Office Building. Photo by Nick Nelson for the Grand Forks Herald.
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GRAND FORKS — The Grand Forks County Commission on Tuesday approved the selection of a construction manager at risk for the expansion of the county correctional center and the creation of a new juvenile detention center.

Bids were turned in to Grand Forks County Director of Administration Tom Ford. Three bids were received, and a selection committee unanimously recommended Construction Engineers to take it on.

The company has worked on various projects, ranging from educational buildings — such as the general, mechanical, electrical and fire protection reconstruction of the UND Chester Fritz Library — to health care buildings, including multiple Altru projects.

Notably, Construction Engineers constructed the Clay County Law Enforcement Center & Correctional Facility, a 60,000-square-foot, two-story law enforcement center for the Clay County Sheriff’s Department. It also constructed the Rolette County Law Enforcement Center & Jail and remodeled the West Central Juvenile Center.

Ford listed the company’s experience with similar projects as the main reason for its selection, as well as its familiarity with the project’s location.



“With a construction manager at risk, you are looking for the best qualified firm to manage the project and work with the architect, which is (Icon Architectural Group),” Ford said. “So, (there were) good interviews and good bids, but quite frankly, Construction Engineers was quite above the fray, and so that selection committee is recommending that to the commission.”

In other news:

  • Grand Sky construction manager Brad Gerken approached the commission to request the authority to spend $143,000 on change orders associated with the Grand Sky’s current construction of an equipment storage building. According to an advertisement for bids on the project, the $1.3 million project “consists of a PEB or Light Gauge Steel building approximately 60' wide by 140' Long and associated site work and pavement.” Gerken said Grand Sky staff realized the need for a firewall between the storage of firetrucks and the remainder of the building. Grand Sky will receive no additional funding for the project, as it has money in its budget to execute the change orders.
  • The Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Office notified the commission of a grant agreement between the agency and the North Dakota Game & Fish Department. The sheriff’s office was awarded $2,000 to be used for patrol or boat safety. The sheriff’s office was not awarded any equipment this year, but Sheriff Andrew Schneider said he is thankful to receive the $2,000.
Jacob Holley joined the Grand Forks Herald as its business reporter in June 2021.

Holley's beat at the Grand Forks Herald is broad and includes a variety of topics, including small business, national trends and more.

Readers can reach Holley at him on Twitter @JakeHolleyMedia.
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