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Juvenile hall opening date delayed again

The long overdue completion of Nevada County’s new juvenile hall has been pushed back to the end of this month, according to a construction update heard by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

“In the last month, progress has been slow,” said Lisa Ouellette, project manager for Vanir Construction Management Inc., a firm hired by the county to oversee the project.



The hall was originally scheduled for completion last June, but a series of setbacks involving adverse weather, unforeseen site conditions and cleanup of a debris pile unearthed during excavation have hampered construction.




“The one thing we are waiting for now to achieve substantial completion is the firing up of the water heater,” Ouellette said.

“Substantial completion,” she said, is achieved when construction of the hall reaches the point where it can be used for its intended purpose.

Ouellette said an “incorrectly installed valve” led to the latest setback involving the facility’s water heater, but added that a new valve should be delivered to the site later this week.

Other items left to be completed include some heating and air conditioning work, minor plumbing and site landscaping, which Ouellette said will have to wait until spring.

The state Board of Corrections indicated it will approve a request by the county to extend the deadline for completion of the hall from Feb. 28 to March 30, said General Services Director Dennis Cassella.

Doug Carver, the county’s juvenile detention facilities superintendent, said juvenile offenders will be moved to the new hall – named after Superior Court Judge Carl F. Bryan II – sometime in April.

Cost overruns have bumped the project’s original construction contract from $5,036,576 to $5,413,823.

Cassella said an independent audit of the project’s expenditures will be completed once the county takes possession of the hall.

The audit is part of the funding requirements for the $5.39 million grant the county was awarded by the Board of Corrections to build the hall.

Including off-site utility expenditures and cost overruns, the total price tag for the hall stands at $8.27 million.

A breach of contract suit filed against the county by general contractor Allen L. Bender of Sacramento is still pending.

Alleging that delays caused by the county put the project behind schedule and led to cost overruns, Bender is seeking $845,253 in damages.

Discussions between the county and Bender representatives are ongoing and no further delays are anticipated, according to Tuesday’s report.


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