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  • Megann Horstead

Committee seeks firm to assess Old Joliet Prison structures

To stabilize and maintain the west building of the Old Joliet Prison, city officials narrowed in on a firm to conduct a conditions analysis and a structural assessment.

In a unanimous vote, the Joliet Prison Committee at its meeting Monday provided a positive recommendation to the Joliet City Council.

“We felt that Klein & Hoffman were the best fit for the city in terms of the project approach, their experience with doing structural assessments and analyses of large historic structures, and budget [breakdown] to hone in on what we wanted to get out of this project,” said Jayne Bernhard, project manager and city planner for city of Joliet.

The contract, if authorized, gives Klein & Hoffman and its team of subconsultants the opportunity to investigate the site and repair existing structures for up to five years.

The prison committee weighed their potential options of eight firms.

Bids for the project varied in estimated cost, ranging as high as $262,000 and as low as $76,920.

The city has defined the project scope to include the administration building, east cell block, west cell block, chapel/school, hospital and the brick stack of the power house.

The contract stipulates the final project cost amounts to $74,000.

Officials are still negotiating the final pricing with the firm, Bernhard said. The city, along with the state of Illinois, has tentatively committed to an estimated $64,000.

“We do have a gap, and the museum has potentially committed to filling that gap,” Bernhard said.

Joliet Area Historical Museum Executive Director Greg Peerbolte agreed.

“We have that going through our finance committee right now,” he said. “We certainly think it’s a wise use of resources.”

Klein & Hoffman has a portfolio of past projects, including work performed at Chicago’s Union Station, the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium.

The Joliet City Council will have the final say on whether to award a professional services contract to Klein & Hoffman at its meeting on Tuesday.

If approved, the conditions analysis and structural assessment will be completed by the end of April 2019.


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