MUSKEGON, Mich. — Construction on the new 622-bed Muskegon County Jail in Muskegon was completed in August. About six months later on Feb. 25, Lansing, Mich.-based Granger Construction was presented with the 2015 Build Michigan Award for its construction management on the project, according to MLive.
The $28.4 million Muskegon County Jail project involved construction of a new three-story jail to replace the outdated 436-bed facility. The replacement jail not only features indirect supervision and a modern design, but its atrium entrance connects to the adjacent Hall of Justice, creating one security checkpoint for both facilities.
The building’s layout includes housing divided into smaller housing units; instead of having four large units, there are six or eight smaller units, according to Rob Train, director of pre-construction services for Granger Construction. There’s a central control pod allowing for direct supervision to all of the units while also making it easy for an operator in the control room to walk around and have direct line of sight to each of the housing units. The operator is also able to control the door electronics with a tablet so that he or she is not just tethered to the control station.
One of the major challenges was the logistics of building the project, Train said. This was a replacement jail facility, but it was built next to the existing jail. It’s located where the public archive used to be, with direct access to county offices and courts. A major factor in locating the jail there was that the construction team had to totally shut down the public entrance and parking for public employees and set up a temporary secure entrance to the Hall of Justice and reroute all the pedestrian traffic.
Another challenge was the schedule itself, Train added. “Muskegon is located on Lake Michigan in the snow belt,” he said. “We started construction in April 2014, and our goal was to get the building enclosed by Jan. 1, 2015. We had to work with contractors to develop a quick schedule to get it enclosed by wintertime. We needed to be able to build the building structure itself as quickly as possible and then set steel cells and then close the building around it.”
Build Michigan Award entries are judged on how each project team meets the challenge of a difficult job, excellence in project management, innovation in construction techniques, sensitivity to the environment, responsiveness to client needs and the contractor’s contribution to the community.