New Grant County Jail

Welcome to the Central Services "New Jail" blog, which is intended to provide general information to the public and stay up to date on the progress of the new jail.

The creator of content for this blog is the Central Services Director, Tom Gaines. I will endeavor to keep this updated often but currently have no exact timeline for posting updates. You can subscribe to the blog here and select this blog under the "blog" category. By subscribing, you will receive notifications whenever I do provide updates.

You may contact me directly at the County Courthouse, 509-754-2011 extension 3276, with questions or concerns, and I will gladly try to answer any questions one may have. It is intended to provide public information for a project that could have a significant and positive impact on the community. Members of the public are always invited to contact the elected official for their district and voice concerns if they so desire.

Apr 25

Last Puzzle Piece

Posted on April 25, 2023 at 6:00 PM by Tom Gaines


Many people are unaware of what it takes to assemble a project like the new jail. This post is meant to be somewhat educational (it has been for me), and I hope it is viewed through that lens.

We have been working in the background for a long time to try and secure land and get the budget numbers correct. If you're a contractor in the current bid market, you understand how difficult it is to get pricing for anything. The market has been volatile at a minimum, and prices coupled with supply chain issues or considerations have seen dramatic cost increases in components (large and small), labor, and availability of contractors. All of this, while statistics bear out, we need a jail. We have watched as other large projects have spun out of control and we are guarding against that here.

The project needed a delivery method that provided the County's best outcome while giving us a realistic budget we could adhere to. This GCCM method provides this outcome; you can read about the process in previous posts.

We hired Lydig as our GCCM. That process in itself was lengthy beyond reason (thank your State), and with their advice (Lydig's, and due to the size and cost of both electrical and mechanical scopes), it was decided to also do this same method with Electrical (ECCM) and Mechanical (MCCM) Contractors. We subsequently performed the RFP for both and publicly opened the bids with their fee proposals last week, adding its score to the submission and interview processes scored earlier.

All the processes we have completed have strictly adhered to the RCWs that dictate precisely how this must be done.

Our team is now complete and includes the following:

The law firm of Perkins and Coie

Principal Architect: CRA (partnered with Brotnov Architecture and Planning), whose team includes:

                Civil Engineer: Great West Engineering

                Electrical Engineer: Coffman Engineers

                Mechanical Engineer: Stantec Mech. Engineering

                Structural Engineer: Lochsa Structural Engineers

                Aviation Engineer: Century West

Turner Townsend & Heery Project Management

GCCM: Lydig Construction

MCCM: MacDonald Miller

ECCM: ARC Electric

With the MCCM/ECCM soon under contract, they will work hand in hand with the mechanical and electrical engineers to ensure the product selection, availability, pricing, system design, and lifecycle considerations are accounted for. They will develop with the engineers and Lydig the installation of all systems and components, their scheduling, and, otherwise, all required logistics needed to complete the project and to provide a GMP or "Guaranteed Maximum Price" to construct the facility. The County will either accept or reject this GMP and enter into a construction contract or make revisions based on the cost, reprice with a new GMP, and hopefully accept that price and enter into a construction contract.

In the past few months,

We completed a Phase One and Phase Two environmental assessment identifying some mitigation.

We are working with the City of Ephrata to facilitate water and sewer to the new site and the project once completed.

We are working with private landowners for access to the property, removal of easements, and the other logistical concerns of traversing private property with city utilities.

We are working with the DOT to address a scheduled Round-A-Bout near Wal-Mart

We are near completion with the bid documents for an early site package to clean and level the track site, remove any identified environmental hazards, and prepare the site for new construction, which we still hope to do in the fall of 2023.

All of this has been happening simultaneously, advancing at every possible opportunity.

Please understand that as much as I have tried to promote this blog, I haven't been able to update it regularly. I have tried to update it when needed to ensure transparency and to let the public know what we have been doing even though you are not seeing physical changes at the site.

With the completion of the team, we will most likely see movement faster, and the updates will begin to tick upward. It's a long and sometimes painful process, but we are doing everything we can to move quickly on this project but do it efficiently and end up with a facility that lasts long into the future.

As always, anyone can reach out anytime to ask more detailed questions if desired.

Mar 06

Latest Update

Posted on March 6, 2023 at 9:49 AM by Tom Gaines


The County completed a Phase Two environmental survey to determine the extent of the environmental hazards pointed out in the phase one survey. With a phase two survey completed, we can write a proper scope of work to mitigate the identified hazards. We also needed to perform a good faith survey and did find asbestos in numerous areas of the racetrack. Like the rest of the environmental hazards, this will also need to be cleaned up.

The expectation still is to release a bid for the early site work package (clean up and leveling of the site) in April (ish). The timing is somewhat fluid because we would like to complete the early site work and have a minimum of downtime between when that work is completed, and construction of the jail begins. It would be more costly to complete the early work, then demobilize the contractor only to incur the cost of mobilization again.

We hired Lydig as our General Contractor/Construction Manager or GCCM, as this is the best way to perform a project of this magnitude. With the expected cost of the mechanical and electrical systems, we are performing the same process to contract with an Electrical Contractor/Construction Manager (ECCM) and a Mechanical Contractor/Construction manager (MCCM). This work is happening in the background while we finish the documentation needed for the early site package bids and work to select a contractor for the site's cleanup.

Meanwhile, we did have a company that manufactures prefabricated jail cells bring one by on a truck last week. Many people were able to stop by and see what a prefabricated jail cell looks like and what was built into them—an exciting concept and an excellent way to save costs on the jail.

I'll look to update the blog next once we have selected the ECCM/MCCM and are able to announce who those contractors will be. 

Jan 12

Kick Off!

Posted on January 12, 2023 at 4:48 PM by Tom Gaines


Today we had an official “Kick Off” Meeting with the entire jail building and design team.  After contracting with Lydig Construction from Spokane WA, this is the first time the entire team is meeting together to discuss what happens next. This is not a “golden shovel groundbreaking event”, but a meeting to lay the groundwork for who is communicating with who, what our expectations are of each other, budgets, logistics, goals, etc.

The team is comprised of County representatives, CRA Architects, CBRE, and Lydig Construction. At the meeting we brought Lydig up to speed on things that have transpired to this point. Lydig, as the GCCM will now schedule meetings, work with the County and the Architect, engage all subcontractors as we perform advanced schematic design, and will work out pricing for all the disciplines required to build a new jail and Sheriff’s administration center. The “heavy lifting” I have been doing is being transferred to Lydig’s shoulders (happily).

In the immediate future the current happenings behind the scenes are.

  • Lydig will begin the process of finding contractors, and pricing for the “early site package” this includes the complete clean-up of the old racetrack and preparing the site for the new construction that will follow.
  • Discuss, and help figure out some of the issues we have yet to deal with that they would be better equipped to handle.
  • The County, and this team are working with the City of Ephrata, Lydig, and the WSDOT to help with the design and installation of a new Round-A-Bout at the highway intersection where Walmart is located. (There is no current timeline, this is the preparatory work)
  • Working on other site improvements / ideas to mitigate traffic disruptions in the future when construction goes into full production.
  • Advanced schematics, this is where we plan the details of electrical, mechanical, security, IT, control, and all other systems required for this type of facility.

This is a lot of work, although you’re not seeing progress on the ground, there is a ton of work happening in the background. The more we coordinate now and ensure our visions and values are aligned. The more successful we will be throughout.