July 20, 2017
By: Will Wright | New Braunfels Herald Zeitung
Area landscaper Cooper Henk turned out to hear more on a potential career opportunity – serving as a subcontractor for the upcoming county jail project. “There was a lot of good information available for me and the other contractors,” he said during a “job fair” for suppliers and subcontractors Wednesday at McKenna Events Center. “Hopefully we can put a bid in, and hopefully we’ll get it.” The three-hour event, hosted by joint project managers Yates Construction and Sundt Construction, attracted area companies and others interested in working in all phases of construction, scheduled to launch this fall and take three years to complete. “We’re looking for as much local involvement as we can,” said Chris Holechek, Yates-Sundt operations manager. “It’s very important to the county commissioners and county judge that we contract as many local companies as we can.”
A $76 million project will add a new 589-bed jail and renovate the current jail into additional sheriff’s department offices at the Fellers Law Enforcement Center on West San Antonio Street, between Interstate 35 and Loop 337. Wednesday’s event was the first of several stages leading up to eventual construction. Final blueprints and designs must be approved by the Texas Commission on Jail Standards before the first bids will be awarded. Officials are hoping to break ground on the first phase – the jail – by late September. Holechek said the first bids – for site work and utilities placement – will go out in August. Another round of bids will go out for services in other construction areas. “Three to four weeks later, bids will go out for the balance of the construction work,” he said. “Those involve concrete, masonry, steel, carpentry, roofing, waterproofing, electrical – all of the other stuff.”
Holechek was among dozen Yates-Sundt representatives who fielded inquiries and answered questions from interested contractors. Daniel Glenney, an estimator, and Jordan Tawil, painting company vice president, were both impressed with the scope of the project. “It’s huge – it could take up to 30 months,” said Tawil, adding he hopes to get all of workforce involved in project stages. Glenney said Wednesday’s event gave him a chance to make connections and get a better idea of the construction timeline. One hour into the event, 50 other contractors had signed in and left business cards. Many others were expected throughout the afternoon. “I’m happy with the turnout, which has included a lot oflocal interest,” Holechek said. “Now that construction is closing in, we’re happy to see them knocking on the doors.”
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