Jail construction to move indoors
Upon completion of the new Crook County Jail, the structure will feature more than 68,000 CMU blocks and cover 31,275 square feet of space.
If all goes according to schedule, the construction work won't conclude until April 30, roughly seven months away, but a glance at the building's exterior shows that most of the outer walls are done, giving way to considerable interior work through the fall, winter and spring.
"The perimeter is done," said Kirby Nagelhout's Roger Snow, who is the project's superintendent. "We maintain one access because there is (otherwise) no good access to do the housing portion."
Snow went on to note that block work for Section A — which houses administration, booking, medical care, a kitchen and more — is done, and workers are now installing mechanical, electrical and plumbing.
The blue material covering that portion of the jail is a weather-proofing water barrier.
"We are preparing to do the rain screen system for the siding at this point," Snow explained. "It is kind of a newer version of how you install siding these days."
"It is in different layers," adds Crook County Commissioner Brian Barney, the county's public safety liaison who is helping oversee the project. "You have the barrier, then you have some metal and then an air gap, and the insulation and then the siding."
According to Snow, it is almost like framing in a complete second wall.
"That portion of the siding should start about five weeks from now," he added.
Construction of the new 76-bed, $17 million jail began toward the end of August last year. Long-awaited by residents and local leaders who grew frustrated by lacking jail space, the project was made possible with the passage of a tax bond in late 2016. Assuming work is completed by April 30, local law enforcement personnel will familiarize themselves with the facility, and inmates will be moved in sometime in June.
Behind the CMU-block walls, the jail's interior is taking shape. Many of the administration rooms, interview spaces and locations for booking, medical care and meal prep are complete, featuring either rebar-enforced CMU block walls or wire-mesh strengthened drywall.
A kitchen area already features a large walk-in cooler, and some rooms even sport a coat of beige paint. Stout metal security door frames can be found throughout the majority of Section A, and some of those frames, and even more secure versions of them, have been installed in the inmate housing portion of the structure.
Within the next week, workers will install the second-story tower where jail personnel can view the entirety of the housing area.
"A lot of the interior structure walls are completed for the tower," Barney remarked.
Meanwhile, work continues on the interior walls of the jail cell blocks.
"We are just in the beginning stages of the cells," Snow said. "That portion of the building, the cell blocks are going in. Those intermediate walls are going up. We should be done with all of the CMU block by mid-October."
As the summer weather gives way to colder fall temperatures and potential winter snow, the project could face delays.
"There is potential, depending on what we get," Snow stated. "If we get one like last year, not so much, but one like the year before would be an issue."
Despite that possibility, he and Barney both believe the project is moving forward on schedule and unimpeded, and people will start to see glimpses of a finished product in January and beyond.
"It is really starting to take shape," Barney concluded.