[an error occurred while processing this directive]
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Fairfield County Construction Project
Jail/Public Safety Facility Project
For the current construction updates please visit:

Please note that updates are expected as the project moves forward. All questions regarding the project should be directed to County Administrator Carri Brown at
(740) 652-7096 or cbrown@co.fairfield.oh.us.
For the current construction updates please visit http://www.ffcjconstruction.com/

As of August 20, 2014:

In January 2014, the Commissioners selected the firm of Wachtel & McAnally Architects/Planners, Incorporated, for professional services. 
The contract amount was for 7% of the total construction costs, not to exceed $2.1 Million.  Click here to see a press release announcing the selection of the architect.

In March 2014, Bennett and Williams was hired to conduct a subsurface environmental investigation in furtherance of the project. The investigation included a historical site description, soil borings, soil samplings, and presentation of results.  The final report was received on July 7, 2014. Click here to see the report and nine recommendations.  Based on the report, the analysis, and the recommendations, two additional studies to further inform utilization of the county owned property are now underway. 

Overall, the Bennett and Williams recommendations appear to be manageable at this point. The formal investigation indicated no hazardous waste in the fill at the site.  Construction methods will be managed so the fill is not carried down. However, the Commissioners have indicated that if “math and science” indicate a change is needed, then the county owned site of Liberty Center will be the focusClick here to see notes from the State of the County Address, March 2014.

The architect has been accepting input from the Sheriff’s Department and other stakeholders as the preliminary footprint is being evaluated. Click here to see a preliminary footprint of the jail. 

The project is expected to cost about $30 -$35 Million, as there will be related costs, such razing the existing maximum security site on Main Street.  In addition, there are market factors which cause construction project costs to fluctuate.  This is why general projections of $30-$35 Million have been consistently communicated. 

The initial estimates for the site of the existing jail on Wheeling Street included a premium for its foundation.  Initial estimates show costs at Wheeling Street ranging from $27.7 -$29.2 Million, and the costs at Liberty Center to be $26.9 Million. Knowing that the jail would be used long term (the existing jail on Main Street has been in existence for more than four decades), the decision for the Wheeling Street location was a holistic one, which included multiple factors, both qualitative and quantitative. In addition, there is awareness that transportation and operating costs over time would increase for the City of Lancaster, the county seat and most populous city, if the new jail is farther away from the courts.

The county demonstrates a financial capacity for the project based on current estimates of revenues and expenditures. In 2013, $3.8 M was set aside for the jail project.  In 2014, $2 M was set aside, for a total of $5.8 M to date.  Each year, $2 M is planned to dedicate to the project, including debt service.  Casino revenues and sales tax revenues are on target with county projections.  Click here to see a resolution passed in June 2014 regarding the intent to issue bonds.

The plans for the Wheeling Street site include a facility with 384 beds.  There are no plans to house federal prisoners at the site.  If it makes sense to do so, the county would examine renting bed space to neighboring counties.  Click here to see preliminary drawings of the new jail.  There is a possibility to expand the capacity of the jail in future years with an additional “pod” of bed space on currently owned county property. 

In October 2014, the county received a report from Bennett and Williams. The report deals with the vapor intrusion assessment.  It summarizes the results to date of the subsurface soil gas analysis and vapor intrusion assessment conducted under the footprint of the Fairfield County jail and public safety facility.  Soil gas samples for naphthalene and mercury were not detected above laboratory detection limits for two sampling events.  Risk assessment calculations using this data showed that the soil to indoor air pathway does not pose an unacceptable risk to either workers or residents at the proposed facility.  The county will not need to include a vapor barrier or system in the design. In addition, for the first of two sampling events for sub-slab vapor and indoor air inside the existing building, results were also not detected above laboratory detection limits.  However, the county awaits the results of second test for indoor air with the existing building, and the county will have a subsequent report in November. Click here to see the report and executive summary.
Timeline, August 2013 - August 2014 (reports May 2015)

August 2013 
The Commissioners announce a survey is available to obtain input and feedback about location of the new jail.

September 2013
The Commissioners hold public hearings to obtain input and feedback.

October 2013 
By resolution, the Commissioners authorize the “go forward” decision to build a jail.   In addition, a motion indicating the preferred site of the existing jail at Wheeling Street is passed.

January 2014 
After research and analysis of contractual elements, the Commissioners select the firm of Wachtel & McAnally as professional architects and planners.  Pre-design elements of the project begin.

March 2014
To further inform the project in the pre-design phase, the Commissioners contract with Bennett and Williams, environmental specialists.

June 2014 
The Commissioners by resolution indicate their intention to issue bonds up to $29.5 Million for the project.

July 2014 
Bennett and Williams issues a report and makes recommendations, which are posted on the county website.  Additional studies are underway to continue the soil gas sampling in support of risk assessment and to conduct subslab and indoor air monitoring at the existing site.

August 2014 
As the project moved forward, the architect worked on developing bid specification documents.  The Board of Commissioners approved financing partners and developed a series of meetings to plan for the November bond rating meeting. The invitations to bid for the project will be announced by press release and will be posted on the county website.  The Board of Commissioners continues to exercise due diligence at every step. The Board continues to receive input and feedback.

As the project moves forward, the architect will develop bid specification documents and continue planning.  In November 2014, county officials will obtain a bond rating review in anticipation of issuing bids for the project.  The invitations to bid for the project will be announced by press release and will be posted on the county website

May 2015 
After Many months of analysis and additional reviews, site plans and responses to the City of Lancaster Interim Policy were delivered to the City of Lancaster Officials.
Response to March 3 2015 City of Lancaster Comments.pdf 181.42MB

'Bennett & Williams Environmental Reports'

Phase I Environmental Site Assessment - 333 Lincoln Ave.pdf  114.81MB
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment - 333 Lincoln Ave -VOLUME 1.pdf 21.05MB
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment - 333 Lincoln Ave -VOLUME 2.pdf 68.17MB
Phase I Environmental Site Assessment - 333 Lincoln Ave -VOLUME 3.pdf 26.67MB
Risk Mitigation Work Plan for the Proposed Fairfield County Jail
Public Safety Facility.pdf 4.75MB
Evaluation of the Soil Leaching to Groundwater Pathway
for Selected Metals of the Miller Park Wellfield.pdf 18.39MB
Installation and Sampling of Monitoring Wells MW9S and MW-9D.pdf  22.26MB
Estimation of Depth of Fill Materials:
Fairfield County Jail/Public Safety Facility PDF 21.29MB