Hays County commissioners approve under-budget scope for public safety projects

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The team in charge of managing the Hays County Public Safety bond projects came back to commissioners with a lower budget that is in line with what voters approved in 2016.

Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve the $106.4 million scope, which includes $2.4 million in contingencies, something project manager Brenda Jenkins with ECM International said she thinks will not be needed.

If contingencies are not used, the project total will be $103.73 million.

In October, the project team asked for more time after presenting a scope that was $7.15 million above budget.

Hays County legal counsel Mark Kennedy said cuts were made to what is known as soft costs, including $231,147 in impact fees for the city of San Marcos, something Kennedy said he expects the city to waive.

The jail project includes an additional 103,000 square feet of space that will hold a new inmate housing unit, an intake/booking area, youthful offender housing, a clinic/infirmary, a kitchen/laundry unit and a segregation housing unit. The addition connects into the main corridor of the existing jail. Additional parking and security fencing is also included.

Parts of the jail are also being renovated. Renovations include turning existing classroom space into program spaces, modifications to the visitation spaces and other areas. Security systems will also be replaced.

A separate 11,900-square-foot training building is also included in the project scope.

The jail addition is expected to be substantially complete by November 2019, with the jail renovations completed at the end of December 2019.

The 68,800-square-foot public safety building will be located next to the Hays County Government Center on Stagecoach Trail in San Marcos and will house the Hays County Law Enforcement Center, the Hays County Emergency Communications Department and the Hays County Office of Emergency Management.

Construction on the public safety building is expected to begin in March and be substantially completed in September 2019.

The jail addition, jail renovation and public safety building costs amount to $76.1 million, not including soft costs and owner’s contingency funds.

The fleet maintenance renovation and site work, which is part of the first project phase, is scheduled to be completed in April. That project is paid for through $5.35 million of the $106.4 million voter-approved funds.

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Marie Albiges
Marie Albiges is the editor for the San Marcos, Buda and Kyle edition of Community Impact Newspaper. She covers San Marcos City Council, San Marcos CISD and Hays County Commissioners Court. Marie previously reported for the Central Austin edition. Marie moved to Austin from Williamsburg, Va. in 2016 and was born in France.
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