CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — The Clearfield County Jail renovation project just added $3.8 million to its tab following an unexpected discovery in the building’s roof.
During a facility walk-through ahead of upcoming construction, engineers found additional spots in need of repair.
“They discovered that when the jail was originally constructed 40 years ago, that it’s missing something known as a bond beam and that sits between the roof and the structure of the jail itself,” Commissioner John Sobel said.
Sobel said ABM industries, the company overseeing what was originally over $9 million in renovations, were not aware of the missing beam. Blueprints of the building showed roof supports were in place.
“Unfortunately because the bond beam is missing, the roof is just sitting on top of the jail without being secured to the jail itself, so it can move,” Sobel said.
Engineers assured the commissioners that the roof will not collapse, but because the roof can move, water is able to enter under the roof into the structure of the jail.
“We’re very disappointed with what happened many years ago,” Sobel said. “Obviously now we’re paying the price for it, but it’s just a fact of life. We’re gonna deal with it and we’re gonna move ahead and get the jail fixed.”
ABM also found deteriorating steam piping and new spots on jail walls that need renovated. The additional repairs are estimated to add $3,878,660 to the project.
“It’s still much less expensive than constructing a new jail,” Sobel said. “Constructing a new jail would take much longer than it would take to get the jail repaired.”
The commissioners approved ABM to move forward with the new renovations and are currently looking into options to finance the additions.
“We could refinance. We certainly have American Rescue Act monies that we can use to pay for it,” Sobel said. “We’d like to use our American Rescue Act monies as best we can for some other projects.”
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Sobel said he expects renovations on the roof to be completed this winter.