Just two weeks after Proposition P was passed by Franklin County voters, the costs to complete the county jail/911 expansion and renovation project may increase by 15 percent.
For the past year, estimates for the jail/911 expansion and renovation were in the $30 million range, but all that could change if the city of Union adopts new 2018 building codes.
According to information released at a jail construction “kickoff” meeting Monday, an additional $4,629,483 has been tentatively added to the price tag for the jail project listed as “seismic upgrades.”
The 2018 Union city code update would require additional materials to be added into the structure to make it less vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural disasters.
The seismic upgrades are necessary for “last building standing” facilities such as jails and emergency operations centers (EOC). Schools and hospitals would also fall into the category requiring additional supports.
Union City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann says Union is now operating on the 2009 family of international building codes, but recently started reviewing codes with the intent to switch to the 2018 versions. He said he was hopeful the review would be finished by the end of the year.
As of now, construction is slated to begin on the jail project in March of 2019.
There has been no firm time line given on when building plans will be submitted to Union for review, or if it will be before the new codes may be adopted.
The main sticking point of potential code changes is the 911 dispatch center and EOC.
“A 911 call center and a dispatch ends up being a bunker,” Zimmermann explained. “Certain buildings should be protected at certain levels. The older codes didn’t have that in there to the degree it is in the newer codes.”
Franklin County and the Union Fire Protection District have adopted the 2015 codes, but chose to delete the sections on seismic upgrades.
The question now will be if the city of Union will do the same.
County Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer says the county can ask Union to delay its adoption of the new codes, but the final $4.6 million decision rests with the city.
If Union adopts the 2018 codes, it would add 15 percent to the project, and would be the second-largest expense overall.
• Jail — $19,586,200;
• Seismic Upgrades — $4,629,483;
• EMA — $2,859,170;
• Shared — $949,050;
• Evidence —$837,780;
• Narcotics — $560,770;
• Detectives — $507,000; and
• Road Patrol — $419,380.
Design, consultant and financing fees are expected to be $4,115,096. Fixtures, furniture and equipment will cost $1,028,774.
The total projected costs originally released is $30,863,863. With the potential upgrades the cost goes up to $35,492,703.