Steel beams go up at new Saginaw County Jail

SAGINAW (WJRT) - (01/18/19) - Construction of the new Saginaw County Adult Detention and Sheriff Administration Building has reached a noticeable milestone.

Construction started in July of 2018 and in recent weeks Spence Brothers crews started putting up steel beams on the structure at the corner of S. Harrison Street and Adams Street in Saginaw.

"They clear the property, and then they started digging. It seemed like they were down in the ground for -- well they were -- for six months. And they were pouring the footings and foundations and driving down pylons," said Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel. "When the steel started going up a couple of weeks ago, that's when I realized this project really is going and they're moving fast."

Shortly after the project took off there was a roughly $2 million setback.

The ground was softer than expected.

"Being the lumber town that we were, they had to drive more than 140 steel beams into the ground 85 to 100 feet. So if you can imagine, that's what's holding this building up," Federspiel said.

He said the project is now on time and on budget.

"Thirty-six million sounds like a lot of money, but we are not raising taxes for this. We are keeping our budget the same," Federspiel said.

Bonds were sold to pay for the project and will be repaid with cost savings created by the design of the new jail.

Each floor with inmates will have a centralized command center.

"It's a safer layout, it's going to be a better design where we won't need as many corrections officers to run a safe jail," Federspiel.

Some of the positions are expected to be eliminated through retirement, while some corrections officers are training to be road deputies. Federspiel does not expect any layoffs.

The new jail replaces the current facility which was built in 1971. It will be torn down after the new one is up and running.

"When we look at it, to finally see it going up in the air, now you really start to know that the project is moving," Federspiel said.

He expects to be moved in no later than February of 2020.

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