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New Ogle jail coming in under budget

Construction on the new jail, officially called Ogle County Judicial Center Annex, is expected to begin by mid-April. This artist's drawing shows the north side with the judicial center on the left.
Construction on the new jail, officially called Ogle County Judicial Center Annex, is expected to begin by mid-April. This artist's drawing shows the north side with the judicial center on the left.

OREGON – The cost to build the new Ogle County jail – work on which is set to begin in mid-April – may be less than the $25.5 million budgeted.

Based on the bids that have come in so far, the County Board has amended the project budget to $24 million, which includes a little padding for unforeseen cost overruns, and any changes the Illinois Department of Corrections might require.

The same is true for its counterpart in Lee County, which is about 4 percent or 5 percent below the $18.5 million budget cap. Design and build costs are on track for $16.8 million, about 6.7 percent under previous estimates.

Construction of the 41,000-square-foot facility at 240 E. Progress Drive, which will include a 94-bed jail, sheriff’s department, a sally port, and space for storage, also is about 3 months ahead of its estimated Nov. 30 completion date, and so should be finished around Aug. 30 – 13 months after it began.

At a special meeting last week, the Ogle County Board accepted 18 base bids that totaled $17.9 million, plus alternate bids for $264,900 more. More than 70 companies submitted bids on the 18 bid packages.

Bids for the steel needed for the 41,700 square-foot building are scheduled to be opened Thursday, which will add about $800,000 to the project.

Board Chairman Kim Gouker recommended the $24 million budget to cover changes required by IDOC and any unexpected costs that may arise.

“We’re looking to break ground in early April,” Jeremy Roling of Gilbane Building Co. told the board at the meeting. “We’ll schedule a ground-breaking around April 15th.”

Construction is expected to take 20 months.

Gilbane was hired a year ago to design and build the jail. It is working with Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Inc., the Chicago architectural and planning firm that drew up the plans.

The county will lease the former package liquor store, across the street at 513 W. Washington, as a construction office. Owner Riley Jacobson will be paid $1,200 a month for the 1,700-square-foot space and its 10 parking spaces.

That’s about $5,000 less than renting trailers for the same purpose, Gouker said.

The new jail will be in the 100 block of South Sixth Street, facing Washington Street.

That block of South Sixth Street will be closed to allow a large sally port and enclosed passageway to connect the jail and the judicial center for the secure transfer of inmates into the jail, as well as from the jail to courtrooms.

The new jail, which will be called the Ogle County Judicial Center Annex, will have space for 152 prisoners.

Besides housing units for men and women, the building will include exercise areas, a prisoner intake area near the sally port, administrative offices, kitchen and laundry areas, and medical facilities.  

The one-story structure will have the same brick on its exterior as the judicial center.

The current jail, built in 1969, is no longer adequate to meet state regulations. It is slated for demolition once the new facility is completed.

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