Pa. architects selected to design new county jail

January 20, 1995|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Sun Staff Writer

A Harrisburg, Pa., firm has been selected by the county to design the proposed $27 million minimum-security jail in Glen Burnie.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh & Associates, which won the $1.01 million contract over two other companies, designed Anne Arundel's correctional system master plan last year. That plan includes the proposed Ordnance Road jail and the subsequent $20 million renovation of the jail on Jennifer Road near Annapolis.

The firm also designed the controversial expansion of the Jennifer Road jail, a plan that was abandoned in late 1993.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh, which also designed the 1992 addition to the Jennifer Road jail, submitted the second lowest bid, but won the contract on technical merit, said James F. Ryan, who coordinates purchasing for the county.

When it submitted last year's master plan, Crabtree, Rohrbaugh architects envisioned a 400-bed campus-like complex in Glen Burnie, containing five two-story V-shaped buildings. Most inmates would be housed eight to a room, with 48 people on each floor of each wing. The architects left room for a 250-bed addition.

The jail would house inmates serving sentences of less than 18 months and those participating in work release.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh will provide a more precise cost estimate as part of its design, which must be submitted by March 1.

County Executive John G. Gary, who inherited the project from his predecessor, Robert R. Neall, has said he intends to turn the operation of the Ordnance Road jail over to a private company. He had hoped to include the private company in the design, and possibly the construction, of the jail. Many corporations that operate jails prefer to help design them so they can be run in the most cost-efficient manner.

But Mr. Gary found he needed the design sooner than he had anticipated, said his spokesman, Larry R. Telford. The county must meet a March 1 deadline for submitting the jail design to the state to secure approximately $10 million in construction money.

Mr. Telford said the request for bids to operate the jail is being drafted, and county officials intend to make a selection before the project's more detailed blueprints are drafted.

At least one company, the Corrections Corp. of America, one of the nation's largest private jail operators, has already started lobbying county officials. The company has hired former Annapolis City Attorney Jonathan A. Hodgson as its local representative.

Mr. Hodgson said representatives from CCA met with county officials earlier this month and presented examples of cost savings they have realized in other projects.

According to the contract between the county and Crabtree, Rohrbaugh, the bid for the company that will construct the jail will be selected by June 1, 1996. Construction is scheduled to begin three months later, with completion expected by Sept. 1, 1998.

Crabtree, Rohrbaugh will use several local firms in designing the jail. Three Annapolis firms will be involved in the engineering: Messick & Associates Inc. will be the principal engineers, assisted by Marshall Engineering, which will do geological studies, and Environmental Systems Analysis Inc., an environmental specialist.

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