Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 6, 2007

Committee decides to hard bid Justice Center addition, renovations

By Gary Nelson / gnelson@crossville-chronicle.com

The Cumberland County Finance Committee decided to move ahead with accepting hard bid proposals on constructing an addition and renovation at the Cumberland County Jail and Justice Center.

The bids will be for both construction of a 96-bed pod unit added onto the current facility as well as bids for adding additional courtrooms and incorporating the old high school into the project.

The decision was made after four companies turned in proposals for being hired as construction manager on the project.

"I have to be honest, I'm really not that impressed with any of these proposals," Cumberland County Mayor Brock Hill said. "I mean we're ready to go. I think we ought to just go ahead and hard bid them out. Find a general contractor to build the project and just hire someone to watch over the thing."

"And we are OK to do that. It would only take about one week for revisions and we'd be ready to go," said Kim Chamberlin of Upland Design Group.

"I feel like the public would like to see us hard bid this project out. I've been saying it for a long time, too, but I think we ought to hire our own engineer for the county to oversee some of these projects," 8th District Commissioner Jeff Brown said.

"That is something that should probably be considered, eventually," Hill said.

"I was disappointed in the responses we got (for proposals). You do run the potential of saving the most money with a hard bid," Chamberlin said.

Companies that submitted proposals were HDH Management Corporation of Dickson, TN; Heery International, Inc. of Nashville; Pinnacle Construction Partners, Inc. of Nashville; and Reece Enterprises, LLC of Pleasant Shade, TN.

HDH Management was the construction management firm that oversaw the construction of Stone Memorial High School.

"I will have to say they did what they were hired to do and did a great job of it. They built a beautiful school," said 2nd District Commissioner Don Ivey.

"Yes, they did. They did a fine job, but I don't think they've ever built a jail. That's my concern," Hill said.

After a brief discussion, 9th District Commissioner Clyde Cramer made a motion to have the Cumberland County Jail/Justice Center project put out for hard bid.

Finance Committee member and Director of Schools Aarona VanWinkle supported the motion and it was approved unanimously.