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.

Sep 11

September Update

Posted on September 11, 2023 at 12:51 PM by Tom Gaines



I have said many times that a lot is happening in the background that people can’t see (which continues today), but finally, something you can see! 

A-Central asbestos has been out at the track, removing asbestos-containing materials from the concession stand, ticket booth, and other areas. At the same time, Abel Technologies is busy removing tires, abandoned vehicles, and trailers and addressing an illegal dump site. The tires will take some time to remove, as many are larger than anything you would find at your local CrossFit.

In August, Arc Electric installed temporary power for the contractor trailer farm, and soon, we will be creating both the trailer farm and laydown area for materials once we get moving on the actual construction.

When we install “No Trespassing” signs, they are immediately vandalized. We are installing more signs and video surveillance at various points around the site to hopefully catch the vandals and those who may try and illegally dump at the track.

Our design team is working diligently on plans, and last week, we had our first “page turn” exercise, where we went through over 200 pages of plans and details of the buildings. Our next big hurdle is the early site package that includes the extension of Nat Washington Way to the southern point of our property (where there will be a turnaround), the construction of a new gravel road allowing access to the southern reaches of the property, water, and sewer construction and more power. With any luck, we will begin construction following soon after that.

Jun 28

June Update

Posted on June 28, 2023 at 5:18 PM by Tom Gaines

June Update

There has been much activity again in the background, working to get the jail out of the ground. I know everyone is wondering what is taking so long. This has been a painstaking process. Here is the latest.

The City has adopted its comprehensive plan recognizing the parcels where the jail will be built as a part of the expanded UGA. This was a long process, and it needed to be completed for the jail to have water and sewer. Many people in the City worked diligently with the County to see this come to fruition. Thanks to Jim Cook and Chris Young of the Counties Development Services office for guiding me through the process and Kurt Adkinson, Ron Sell, the Mayor, Council, and SCJ Alliance, whom the City contracted with to help with the plan update that allows them to support the UGA request. In the meantime, the City and County are working on a developer and annexation agreement that allows us to provide these services before the UGA/Annexation processes are completed. It wouldn’t have been popular to begin construction only to have it halted because we could not get water or sewer.

A final floor plan has been established through many hours of discussion and viewing of numerous floor plans. The design team will use it to begin the Design Development process, where the Architectural, Structural, Electrical, and Mechanical design consultants will begin adding all the detail required to construct a large and complicated facility.  The Contractor will also use this floor plan to begin working with the design team through Design Development to provide input on the constructability of the design and provide real-time estimating as the design develops.  Remember, the Contractor is responsible for providing a guaranteed maximum price for construction so we know exactly what it will cost.  This process is neither quick nor easy but detailed, thorough, and exhaustive.

The early site package will see us bid out work like the demolition and clean-up of the site along with the installation of water, sewer, the extension of Nat Washington Way to the southern corner of the new site (whole city street with curb, gutter, and sidewalk), stormwater swales, and other civil highlights needed for a new campus pushing 184,000 square feet.

Regarding the schedule, we are looking to bid on the work for the early site package in September, with work immediately following a successful bid opening and time to review and contract with the successful firm. Depending on the weather, we may delay the start of the building foundations to avoid the very costly winter weather protection that becomes necessary when doing foundation work in the winter months.

That’s what’s happening; enjoy the summer, go to the Grant County Fair (shameless plug), and enjoy good eats and entertainment, August 15-19, Sew it, Grow it, Show it! Fair (

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.