Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


Jail construction to start next May

By Randy Thoms Dec 6, 2023 | 3:13 PM

Koochiching County board meeting agenda hand-out, August 22, 2023

The construction of a new county jail in International Falls could begin as early as next May.

The project’s design drawings were presented recently to the Koochiching County Board of Commissioners.

Project Manager Justin Maaninga says they could go out for bids early in the new year.

“Starting with the pre-construction schedule design development we’re presenting . . ., and then we’ll be moving right in at construction documents,” says Maaninga. “That’s really when we start making or putting together buildable plans, plans that we can actually construct. So, the construction document phase being done, with construction documents early part of February, coming to the board for approval Tuesday the 20th. Out for bid early or late February with a bid opening of March.”

Maaninga says that would allow for construction to begin as winter road restrictions are removed in Minnesota.

The schedule also has the jail opening by November 2025.

Early estimates peg the project at almost $17 million.

That is over one million dollars over budget.

Maaninga says some changes could help bring that down.

“So, really, with some options, we’re about 1% over, $229,000. This is an estimate. It’s not a bid. We reached out to a lot of vendors, talked to a lot of people. We did factor in a 3% cost escalation here and travel because of our location. It’s a real cost that we’re going to have to deal with. There’s a 2% estimate contingency on there, and the 5% overhead and profit. So from our perspective, we feel we’re right where we need to be at this stage of the game.”

The jail will replace an existing facility found to be inadequate by state officials.

It is to be constructed adjacent to the courthouse.