Comal County Jail

Comal County Jail MIKALA COMPTON | Herald-Zeitung

After a productive meeting with jail construction managers on Friday, Comal County Judge Sherman Krause confirmed the new facility will open on Monday.

“We had a really good meeting — we basically talked about the steps to total completion,” he said. “We didn’t talk about exact dates but things we needed to shoot for in finalizing everything.”

County commissioners approved what County Engineer Tom Hornseth termed as 

the final construction change order involved with the $14.8 million Landa Building renovation and the 88th change order for the $72 million jail during their weekly meeting on Thursday.

An additional $103,275 for concrete, framing and steel changes for the Landa renovation, completed in June, will be assumed by SpawGlass Contractors as part of its contracted project contingency. Another $86,217 for plywood sheathing, underlayment and metal components in portions of the jail was also approved. 

Krause said the 585-bed facility still lacks a formal agreement on the substantial completion date — which sets a final completion date 30 days later — with at-risk contractor Yates/Sundt Joint Venture, both parties are close enough.

“We’re right there in the ballpark,” he said. “That’s not going to be an issue.”

The county has proposed an Aug., 14 substantial completion date, with along with the final completion date determines several issues, he said. Inspections are part of both, requiring the county to follow by issuing certificates to the contractor.

“We issue one after the substantial completion and another following the final inspection, which occurred Thursday,” Krause said. “We will be submitting a list of seven things that need to be corrected — six of them are very minor — with the seventh dealing with drainage from the roof which is important to make sure we don’t have (standing) water on the roof.”

Krause said he and Hornseth met with Scott Pitt, representing Yates Construction and John McElwain, representing Sundt Construction on Friday morning. 

“Once they finish those items, we’ll schedule the move-in but I don’t know that we can’t by Monday,” he said.

Sheriff Mark Reynolds happily provided details on the move, which he expects will take between 10 days and two weeks.

“Next Monday we will begin moving in some of the staff,” he said. “It will be an ecstatic day — as soon as we begin getting everything online we can start mobilizing internal systems, and bringing the infirmary and kitchen (online).”

Krause and Reynolds said the move-in will be performed in stages as staffers get used to new equipment and new areas.

“There are a bunch of excited employees right now — we’re not going to complete moving in an hour but through an extended process over several days before we will be able to move in the inmates,” Reynolds said.

Added Krause: “I think the thing we’re looking forward to is getting people in there so they get used to systems in the new building and make sure everything is working.

“Everything will be so different to what they’re used to now (in the old jail). It will take them a while to get used to that and make sure they get comfortable with it before we start moving inmates over there.”

After receiving the weekly COVID-19 update, commissioners on Thursday also approved:

• Receiving Texas Association of County’s Risk Management Pool’s 2019 Excellence in Safety Award, awarded to more than 20 Texas counties for implementing measures that prevent employee accidents and reduce workers’ compensation claims.

• An amended plat combining lots in a portion of the Ensenada Shores at Canyon Lake subdivision.

• A boat registration and titling agreement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department which will begin the latter in 2021 and both lasting through August 2025.

• Public Health agreements with Comal County Health Authority Dorothy Overman.

• Line item budget transfers for equipment, technical support and overtime for the elections office ($8,000); a replacement scanner for the office of environmental health ($861); office supplies and commercial driver’s license renewals in the recycling department ($1,000); cleaning supplies, new and replacement purchases of digital and replacement speed signs on Blanco Road ($21,184) and replacement vehicle parts ($60,000) for the road and bridge department for the remainder of 2020.

To access Thursday’s meeting video and agenda, visit www.co.comal.tx.us/agenda.htm.

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