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Except for two small items, jail project is complete

With the exception of one lock and the cleanout of a strainer on the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), the McLeod County Jail expansion and courthouse security project are complete.
Sam Lauer of Contegrity, the construction manager, gave the final construction update to the County Board at its June 5 meeting. He said the lock was on order, and the strainer work would be done before firing up the heating system in fall.
“It took longer than expected, but it came in under budget, and that’s the important thing,” said Lauer of the project. He said he was finalizing a financial report for the project and expected that the County Board would have it by July.
Commissioner Doug Krueger asked about cleaning up the lot the construction crews used for storing their equipment and building materials.
Lauer said that the intent is “to reseed that area and get it back to grass.” The bituminous lot on the west side of the courthouse also would be fixed.
County Attorney Mike Junge asked if Lauer could speculate on what the cost of the project would be today as compared to when it started.
Lauer said that steel prices have been going up, especially with the proposed tariffs.
“It would be 15 to 20 percent more, just on the steel,” said Lauer. “And the year-to-year inflation has been 3 to 6 percent. I’d say it would easily have cost 15 percent more or higher to do the project now. This was a 2016 bid, too, so you are looking at two years ago, also.”
Lauer said county personnel were especially accommodating with the project.
“Your maintenance staff and sheriff’s office staff were a treat to work with,” said Lauer.
For more about the project, see the June 13 print edition of The Chronicle.