Floyd County supervisors continue push for project completion
The emergency operations center will be the location for the county Emergency Management Agency during natural disasters or similar events. At other times it will be available for training sessions, for voting, and the Board of Supervisors plans to use it for its regular meetings until a decision is made on creating a board room during the courthouse update project. Press photo by Bob Steenson
By Bob Steenson, [email protected]
There is a chance that Floyd County could receive permission from the state to begin moving the Sheriff’s Office and jail detainees into the new county law enforcement center, even though there are a few details still to be completed on the new jail construction.
The state’s chief jail inspector is expected to be at the facility Tuesday and Wednesday, it was reported at the county Board of Supervisors meeting Monday morning.
The items still to be completed are relatively minor, including such things as seats and grab bars in handicapped-accessible cell showers. Previously the county had been led to believe that the facility would not be certified for use until it was 100% complete, but supervisors held out hope Monday that there could be some leeway.
Part of the problem is the county has no estimate on when the remaining items will be completed.
Sweeper Metal Fabricators Corp. of Oklahoma was awarded the contract to install the cells and detention electronics, but is many months behind scheduled completion and supervisors say the company had not been cooperative in giving the county information.
“I’m hoping that we can get some good news from the jail inspector this week,” said Supervisor Linda Tjaden.
She also said she hopes they will get good news from subcontractors on the courthouse update part of the project as to how that will proceed. The updates include asbestos removal, new windows throughout the courthouse, tying into the new heating and cooling system that is part of the LEC, fire suppression sprinklers and other updates.
That part of the project has not fully begun because much of the initial work is to be done on the top floor of the courthouse, where the current Sheriff’s Office and county jail are located. Until they move into the LEC there is limited work that can be done up there.
The county has been pushing the subcontractors to identify areas where they can work now and come up with a plan for completing the project.
Brian Shindelar, project superintendent with The Samuels Group, the construction manager, said ductwork is being done on upper floors, Continental Sprinkler is here to work on laying out the building sprinkler system, and the window contractor is making plans to work along with the asbestos abatement company to replace the windows as the asbestos company removes them.
The board also talked about using the new emergency management agency room in the LEC for board meetings or to temporarily relocate courthouse departments when their area is being worked on.
The main problem is that the new handicapped accessible restrooms for each courthouse floor that are being built in the atrium are not ready, so there are no restrooms currently easily accessible to EMA’s emergency operations center.
The supervisors had previously been meeting in the Assembly Room on the ground floor, but that room is closed as work is being done to create a secure hallway for transport of jail detainees between the LEC and the current jail and courtrooms until the new elevators in the atrium between the courthouse and the LEC are operating.
The board is now back on the second floor in a boardroom that it had previously used for decades, since the courthouse was built in 1941.
But now, as supervisors pointed out, there is additional electronic equipment in the room to allow remote meeting viewing or participation, making it even more crowded, and there are now concerns about COVID mitigation in such a confined area.