Lawrence County jail project progresses

Lawrence County officials approved a process that will determine the design and construction costs of a new public safety center. Pioneer photo by Jaci Conrad Pearson

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DEADWOOD — Lawrence County is one step closer to a new jail facility, what is these days referred to as a “public safety and services center.”

Tuesday, Lawrence County Commissioners approved an agreement for programming and design architectural services in an amount not to exceed $50,000 with Elevatus Architecture of Ft. Wayne, Ind., while the due diligence process continues on the $3 million land purchase to house the facility, as the offer on the property was accepted and the establishment of a closing date is near.

Commissioner Randy Deibert said the approval keeps the process moving as county officials consider a much lengthier contract that will see the project through to culmination.

“If we want to stay on schedule, this one-page letter gets us through the programming and then well have a go/no-go on the project at that point, depending on what we learn,” he said. “These dollars would come out of the total fee that would be for the entire design, anyway. So what we’re doing, we’re doing a hybrid here to keep us moving on the schedule we want to move on and still doesn’t affect the final dollar amount, which we’ll really need to know a construction dollar amount if we move to that point.”

Deibert asked that on the reimbursable costs during the performance of the services the county be notified what they are prior to dollars being spent.

“So if they’re going to send somebody out, just let us know how many it’s going to be,” added Commissioner Johnson.

Commissioner Richard Sleep asked if the architect’s hourly rates being charged per the document are reasonable.

Deibert said yes, especially when it comes to the interiors.

“I looked at their rates and they’re not out of line, especially when you get into the interiors. That’s much lower than normal,” he said.

Deadwood Resorts, LLC accepted the county’s $3 million offer for the 75-acre Dunbar Tract A of Tatanka Subdivision of Deadwood, and on Aug. 18, the county commission authorized Chairman Brandon Flanagan to sign the purchase agreement on the property.

Flanagan said consultant Steve Williams has indicated that there is nothing that has occurred so far during due diligence that is surprising or detrimental to the project.

“Geotech came back, no surprises. I think most of the internal improvements and things are fine, easements, I think, within reason, to be adjusted as needed. There are no surprises that are going to create a big problem,” Flanagan said.

Lawrence County Deputy State’s Attorney Bruce Outka concurred.

“So far, there are no red flags,” Outka said, adding that the due diligence period expires Oct. 17.

There are currently easements with the city of Deadwood that are being reviewed with city officials.

A closing date will be established following the next commission meeting Oct. 6, where further discussion will take place along with one last chance to raise any concerns on the property prior to purchase.

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