Stanislaus supervisors OK contracts for Public Safety Center expansion

kcarlson@modbee.comJune 17, 2014 

Stanislaus County leaders on Tuesday approved construction contracts for what officials say is the county’s largest capital project ever – a major expansion of the Public Safety Center on Hackett Road.

The $64.9 million contract was awarded to Hensel Phelps of San Jose to build the center with two maximum-security units totaling 480 jail beds, along with a health care unit with 72 beds for inmates suffering from physical and mental disorders.

Supervisors also approved a $17.7 million contract for Hensel Phelps to build support facilities for the expansion.

Simile Construction Service of Modesto previously was awarded the job of building a probation reporting center at the same location for $4.4 million.

With the design work and other costs, the grand total for the facilities is about $113 million. The county will combine an $80 million state grant with local funds to pay for it all.

The initial work at the site near the Public Safety Center is expected to start in the fall. According to grant requirements, occupation of the jail facilities needs to begin by March 31, 2017.

There was no guarantee of how many local construction workers would be employed at the site in the next three years. Supervisor Vito Chiesa said the county likes to see local subcontractors work on capital projects.

In another item, the county will continue working to sell a former clinic building in downtown Modesto. In closed session, the board voted to reject bids from potential buyers for the Medical Arts Building. One of the two bids was less than a third of the minimum price set at $1,363,603.

County Counsel John Doering said the top bid was $700,000 from Dr. Gurpreet Singh, who developed Central Valley Specialty Hospital in the former Modesto City Hospital building on 17th Street, next door to the Medical Arts Building. A second bid from physician and real estate investor Stephen Endsley was $400,000.

The two-story building, at 17th and G streets, has 37,463 square feet of space and comes with parking across the street. It served as a county health clinic until it was closed during a Health Services Agency restructuring in 2006.

The potential buyers delivered sealed bids to the county last week.

Doering said county staff will work on marketing the property. Last year, a plan to remodel the building for a coroner’s facility fell through when construction bids were far higher than what had been expected.

Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at kcarlson@modbee.com or (209) 578-2321.

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