County hires CMAR for jail expansion

In a meeting largely comprised of discussion of the technical aspects of designing and seeing through an expansion of a correctional facility, county commissioners on Monday decided to hire the Minneapolis-based firm of Adolfson & Peterson Construction as the construction manager at risk, or CMAR, for the Ward County Jail expansion project.

A CMAR is different from a general contractor in that the firm will be involved with the project from initial design stages through the end. Once the design stage reaches about 70 percent completion the CMAR will then introduce a budget that they will be “at risk” in meeting. They will then contract companies for the work that they will manage to complete the project on time and on budget. The firm will be paid a fee equaling 3.5 percent of the entire project.

A CMAR has been a point of contention for Ward County commissioners, although all voted in favor of hiring the firm at Monday’s special meeting. Chairman Jerome Gruenberg, though, still said he was voting “yes” reluctantly, as he has been more in favor of hiring a general contractor for the project.

Also at the meeting was Don Davison, an architect with JLG Architect’s Minot office, who designed the Ward County office building that is currently being constructed across the vacated section of Third Avenue Southeast from the Ward County Courthouse. He is also involved in the jail project, but has brought in BWBR Architects Inc., an architecture firm based in St. Paul, Minn., to do much of the design work.