July 1, 2009
Things are shaping up quickly for Uintah County's new Public Safety Complex--the project, which is being built by Layton Construction, is more than halfway complete and currently ahead of schedule. Layton broke ground on the 170,000-square-foot facility, located in Vernal, Utah, in May 2008. JWL Architecture and Babcock Design Group collaborated in a joint-venture effort for the building's design.
The Uintah County Public Safety Complex will include a new county jail with 384 cell beds, a new courtroom with attorney's offices, a new sheriff's office and also space for the FBI, Utah Highway Patrol and Emergency Dispatch. The complex will also include a full-service kitchen and laundry area as well as medical facilities. Having so many different areas with different functions has proven to be somewhat challenging.
"This aspect is unique, because the occupancies have such different functions and a whole different set of needs," says Ed Deffner, Layton's project manager.
Fortunately, the project team has been able to work with cooperative occupants and take each different occupant's specific needs into account.
Crews are currently working on site work, curb and gutters, final roofing, interior sheetrock and paint, rough mechanical, electrical, plumbing, fire proofing, detention frames and security wiring and space design for the interiors of the facility. All site work is on track to be complete in the fall. Layton's next planned steps for the project include installing detention locks and furnishings, completing sheetrock and finish work and installing the main mechanical penthouse equipment.
The project is currently 65 percent complete and on track to be completed in March 2010, two months ahead of schedule. Deffner attributes being ahead of schedule to the team's ability to manage resources well, having good luck with weather during the winter months, working with good subcontractors and ultimately having an excellent team made up of the owner, contractor, architects, engineers and subcontractors.
Deffner says the success of the Uintah County Public Safety Complex thus far is due to the teamwork all involved in the project exhibit--everyone employs open communication and consistently looks out for the interest of each entity involved. The project management team also meets with all of the subcontractors, the architects and engineers as well as the owner every six weeks to discuss the project's progress. The day-long coordination meetings provide opportunities for the entire project team to be together at the same time and work out any issues or problems that come up.
"It's been a really good thing. It gives everyone an excuse to be together at the same time, kind of like a forced cohabitation," Deffner says. "It's good foresight--we're not putting out fires, instead we're managing things that have come up or are coming up."
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