SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — The San Luis Obispo Board of Supervisors approved $31.3 million in construction and related contracts in mid-December for the expanded San Luis Obispo County women’s jail, a new medical facility and an electronic security system. Construction on the new facilities could begin as early as February, reports SanLuisObispo.com.
The board of supervisors unanimously approved a nearly $27.8 million construction contract and four additional contracts totaling $3.5 million that account for testing, inspection services and other work. The state is funding $25.1 million of the construction cost. County reserve funds will cover the remaining cost, with $694,000 coming out of the general fund.
Despite the unanimous project approval, supervisors were concerned about the new cost estimate, which said the total project would cost about $40.7 million. That estimate is about $2 million more than estimated in August and about $4 million more than the 2007 estimate, which was given when discussions of the project began. The supervisors voted to move ahead with the project, however, because it is necessary for San Luis Obispo County.
The project will expand the capacity of the women’s jail to 198 beds and help ease overcrowding. It will also provide more space for the facility’s about 20 inmate programs such as computer and life skills, parenting classes, GED preparation and treatment programs.
If the project remains on schedule, the construction should be completed in October 2016 and will be completed in phases. The first phase will consist of the housing unit and a new electronic security system; the second will include moving the female inmates into the new jail, and the third will consist of tearing down the previous women’s jail and replacing it with a medical facility.
The project still requires the State Public Works Board and California Department of Finance to review the construction contract before the work can begin. SanLuisObispo.com reported that General Services Agency Director Janette Pell and San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Rob Reid expect that process to be complete at the beginning of January.