Contractor picked for jail project

County board opts for Vanir Construction for expansion

San Benito Jail

County supervisors Tuesday unanimously selected Vanir Construction Management to oversee the jail expansion project.

According to county documents, estimates show a total cost of about $21.5 million with a $5 million budget shortfall.

Vanir will enter into negotiations with the county for a contract not to exceed $954,040. According to the company’s proposal, the construction phase of the project is expected to commence in late August. The construction phase would last around 18 months.

County Administrative Officer Ray Espinosa presented the item to supervisors.

“Two meetings ago, if I recall correctly, your board asked me to reach out to three companies and receive quotes,” Espinosa said. “Since that time, I have reached out to three companies. I’ve reached out to Kitchell Construction and Vanir Construction. Both of those are reputable jail construction managers. Then also a local, reputable construction management builder for buildings, which is Felice Construction Company.”

He explained that while all three companies were contacted, Kitchell didn’t provide a quote.

“They felt that the project, we didn’t have enough funds to move forward with the project,” he said. “They just did not want to provide a quote.”

While the board’s decision came down to two options, Espinosa made a compelling case for Vanir.

“We just wanted to highlight that we’ve worked with Vanir on many projects,” Espinosa said. “The project we’re sitting in today is a building that they helped out with, as well as our current jail and other facilities within our county. They also were hired to help us with looking at pre-qualification bids and to assist us with moving forward with the project back in February of 2017.”

Vanir identified 600 potential conflicts in the design of the jail expansion project, Espinosa said. He also addressed concerns about communication with the construction management company that were brought up during a February board retreat.

“Vanir Construction actually has facilitated weekly update meetings,” Espinosa said.

Espinosa thanked Capital Program Manager Adam Goldstone for his work on the project. He also touched on Vanir’s fee proposal.

“Vanir’s fee proposal is very reasonable,” Espinosa said. “If you look at the quote itself … you’ll notice it’s actually a percentage of the total cost, 4.22 percent. From my understanding, reaching out and doing some research on this, about 6 percent is the going rate. So it’s a pretty good deal.”

There was no discussion of the item among supervisors. No one spoke during the public comment portion of the item.

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