Jail bids opened

  • Wednesday, June 25, 2014

H.G. Reynolds Company has submitted the low bid to build Dorchester County’s new detention center.

The Aiken-based company came in at $18.73 million dollars, slightly higher than the $15-16 million the county has currently budgeted toward the project, according to Dorchester County officials.

The high bidder was KBR Building Group, with a bid of $20.659 million.

In addition to H.G. Reynolds and KBR, Bell and Associates, Brantley, M.B. Kahn Construction, and New South Construction also pre-qualified and submitted bids, Dorchester County Administrator Jason Ward said.

However, opening the bids is only the beginning, he said. Ward, county staff, and Moseley Architects, the architectural firm working on the detention center project, will need to review the bids and work with the construction companies to ensure their proposals adequately cover the scope of the project.

“The next step is for us to go through the contract process to review the submission and ensure that the contract covers everything necessary,” Ward said. “We would expect that process completed and the contract awarded no more than 30 days after the opening of the bids.”

Dorchester County’s procurement policy also allows for companies located in Dorchester County to match within 5 percent of the low bid, Ward said. Brantley Construction is a Dorchester County-based company and would qualify for that consideration; it would need to submit an affidavit requesting such, he said.

Also, the bids came in higher than what is currently budgeted toward the project, therefore staff will have to go before council later to ask for more funding to complete the project, he said.

Thus far the county has expended some $1.4 million toward the project for the purchase of the land and for architectural service, Ward said.

The new detention center, to be built on property located at 220 Hodge Road in Summerville, will be some 83,400-square-feet and will house 350 beds, with enough space to expand up to 650, if necessary.

Construction is projected to take about 22 months, he said.

Dorchester County Sheriff L.C. Knight said overall he was pleased with the bids and the process.

“We got good bids, I think,” Knight said. “They were close to what I expected. I think we had some good companies put in bids, they worked hard to get close, and they did.”

Knight said the challenge now, as always, is money – the county has to find the resources to adequately staff the jail once it is built, he noted.

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